You should take care to make sure that your home is as safe and accident-free as possible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and its National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Survey, there were 29.3 million emergency department visits due to an accident or unintentional injury. Around 0.43 percent of these accidents resulted in death. Deaths from unintentional injuries and accidents represented 5 percent of all deaths that were recorded in 2011, according to CDC data.
Reducing the number of accidents and resulting injuries that may occur in and around the home is important. There are actions that you can take to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your family or others living in the home. These actions are especially important if you have young children in the home. Take the perspective of a child and consider what dangers may be present in your home in order to reduce accidents and increase safety.
Install Safety Gates and Door Locks
If you live in a home that has a staircase or areas that may pose a danger to a small child (i.e. basement stairwell, kitchen stove, etc.), you should strongly consider installing baby or child gates. Placing these devices strategically throughout the home can help reduce worry and decrease the possibility of an unintentional injury. When purchasing gates, look for those that are certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association as an added seal of approval.
Childproof door locks are easy to install and allow you to keep small hands from opening and entering rooms they shouldn’t be entering. Most are designed to simply slip over the doorknob. They are difficult for most children to operate and allow you to further safety proof your home.
Install and Check Smoke Alarms
A study conducted by the Public/Private Fire Safety Council for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) found that 4 percent of households in the United States did not have a smoke alarm installed. These homes accounted for 39 percent of the home fires reported and half of the fatal injuries that occurred. It is estimated that the smoke alarm in 20 percent of the homes in this country is not working, due to the lack of adequate power, a working battery, or a missing battery.
Smoke alarms are one of the most important safety tools that every home should have. Smoke alarms save lives by providing you with the warning necessary to escape a fire and alert firefighters and other first responders to provide you with assistance. Your home should have at least one smoke alarm installed per each level of your home. Whether your smoke alarm is hard-wired into your home or a standalone type, be sure to check the batteries at least annually to ensure that your smoke alarm is working properly.
Keep Locked Away Dangerous Items
Whether as a collector or for personal protection, you should keep guns, knives, and other dangerous weapons locked away and well out of reach. Guns and knives are not toys and may be enticing to a young child who may not appreciate the consequences of aiming a loaded weapon at another individual or playing with a sharp knife. Maintain a gun safe or locked area in your home so that these items are far from the temptations of children and other untrained persons.