It’s Home Safety Month

According to the Center for Disease Control. unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., overtaking  strokes on the list. Most accidental injuries are completely preventable, so paying attention to home safety can save pain, time money or even a life.

Entryways can be made safer with the addition of more lighting and railings. Steps and sidewalks, whether they are made of wood or cement, should not be left to crumble, warp, pull away from the main structure or sag unevenly. Where possible, a no-step entrance is even better.

Adequate lighting can make all the difference when walking from room to room. All areas of a home should have adequate lighting. Lights can be places on timers to illuminate rooms on a specific schedule. Motion-activated or on-all-night-lights can help when walking in a house at night. In particular , hallways and stairs should be properly lit.

Keeping the interior of  home clean, organized and in good repaid can help prevent accidents. Clutter can be not only unsightly, but dangerous. Messy conditions and broken items are trips and falls waiting to happen. Area rugs that slip out of place, stacks of newspapers and magazines and piles of belongings or other possessions can serve as barriers and obstacles, as well as tripping hazards.

Most homes have a mandated smoke alarm, but in safety survey, less than 20 percent of all homeowners reported they ever tested their alarm. The majority of deaths from home fires are from smoke inhalation, so early warning an evacuation are critical. A working smoke detector should be in every bedroom or sleeping area, another in the hallway outside sleeping areas, as well as a smoke detector for every level of the home.

If there are children in a home, accidental ingestion of pills or household chemicals is always a concern. All medications should be out of reach or in a locked cabinet, and all household chemicals and cleaners should be made inaccessible to children. Some cleaners today in the form of brightly-colored and vacuum-sealed powders that are appealing  to children. These and all cleaners should be out of reach and the Poison Control hotline number posted near the phone or in the cabinet.

Even prescribed medicines can be hazardous. The CDC estimates about 128,000 people die each year from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk. Medicines should always used only by the person whose name is on the bottle and any adverse reactions to a medication should be reported immediately.

As the prevalence of guns continues to rise, so do gun accidents and fatalities. Sadly, American children younger that 15 are nine times more likely to be involved in a gun accident than those is the rest of the developed world. IF there are guns in the home, they must be placed in a locked cabinet with the key hidden. Ammunition should be locked separately.

fire can be a household hazard, but one that in the main can be prevented by having chimneys cleaned and inspected and making sure dryer lint is regularly removed from filters, vent and piping. If a fireplace is sued frequently, screens and other barriers should cover the area of open flame.

In case of fire emergency, fire extinguishers should be installed on every floor of the home;keep on in the garage, and one in the kitchen.

About John Robinson's Inspection Group

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