Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Don’t be a Victim of Your Own Home

Our homes are supposed to be a safe haven for us and our family. In reality they are but still thousands of people are injured in their homes every year and most of the time it is preventable.  Here are some common causes of accidents that you can easily avoid with very little effort.

A Very Familiar Reminder
You’ve heard this a thousand times, everyone has but still it continues to happen way too often.  Cleaning products, ALL chemicals MUST be kept out of the reach of children. I suggest locking the cabinet that they are stored in as well. Children are very resourceful and may be capable of reaching places that you don’t expect. An added word of caution: NEVER mix cleaners together. This can cause fires, toxic fumes, burns and even explosions.

What Goes Up Must Come Down
Stairs are definitely one of the biggest hazards in your home. We all know by now to make sure that nothing is left on the steps that could cause us to trip but there are other threats as well. If your steps have carpet be sure that it is tacked down securely. Stairs without carpet should have some type of non-slip pad. Today a sealer is also available for hardwood steps that is less slippery than standard sealer. Finally please be sure that all the stairs in your home are well lit; darkness and steps are not a good match.

Everybody Overlooks This One
Tall furniture can be very dangerous. An 8 foot tall bookshelf can weigh much more than you do and if it topples over it can even be deadly. Today’s entertainment centers can be quite large and often contain decorative glass as well. It is well worth your time to secure these items to the wall if possible. Most times this can be done simply with a long screw or two that can go directly into a wall stud. If you have masonry walls be sure to use the proper masonry screws / anchors. This advice goes double if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornadoes or severe winds.

Slips are Quite Common
It happens all the time. It helps to think of your floors as an extension of the stairs. Again it’s best not to leave loose items lying around and immediately wipe up any spills that might occur. You might get distracted and forget that it’s there or someone else may enter unexpectedly and there it is.

Loose carpet, sliding area rugs, linoleum that is cracked or broken and sticking up are all an accident waiting to happen. One of the most common causes of household injuries is that wet bathroom floor. Bath mats or rubber backed rugs will make your privacy room a thousand times safer.

The One That Everybody Forgets
Did you know that clothes dryers cause fires in thousands of homes every year? Last year they were responsible for millions of dollars of damage and even lost lives. It is very important that dryers be installed properly and maintained on a regular basis. Proper venting to the outside of the home is vital and gas dryers should ALWAYS be installed by a professional.

Dirty lint filters and clogged exhaust hoses are the catalyst that starts dryer related fires and this is why you must clean the lint filter before every use. It’s an easy habit to get into and is an easy way to prevent an all too common tragedy. Be sure to check the exhaust hose from time to time to be sure that it is not blocked as well. Also, NEVER use the dryer on clothing or materials that have been soiled by flammable materials such as gas or oil. When they heat up they will combust.

The One That Everybody Hates
Alright, I admit it. I’m guilty of this one too. I don’t always take the time to register new products that I buy for my home. Well….. that’s a mistake. From time to time manufacturers need to recall a product for safety related reasons and the only way that they have to notify you is when you have registered with them. This really does happen from time to time and you need to be informed if a new appliance or gadget has a defect that may be dangerous. Take the time to fill out that silly little card or register online, it’s worth the effort.

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