Safe Space: Tips for Improving Your Safety in Your Home

 

You may be of the mindset that accidents just happen. While this may be true to a certain extent, there may be actions that you can take to reduce the likelihood of injury in your home. Afterall, your home should be a safe space where you can relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world without the added stress of accidental injury. There are some simple steps that you should consider when improving the safety of your home.

Household Injury

Raising your awareness of some common injuries people experience at home can help you to better prepare. In turn, this should help establish your home as a safe haven rather than an obstacle course. Some of the most common injuries that can result from your household are burns, falls, and poisoning.

Falls are a costly and serious injury that, as of 2014, accounted for approximately 2.8 million visits to emergency medical departments for older adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Improving your fall awareness can certainly help you to identify hazards in your own home. Factors that can play a role in falls include:

  • Poor lighting
  • Clutter
  • Wet and slippery surfaces
  • Stairs
  • Uneven surfaces

Falling Hazards

You can implement solutions that will help you avoid these hazards and prevent unexpected trips, slips, and falls. Use of non-slip mats as well as transfer benches for your shower or bath, grab bars, and bath mats with non-skid bottoms can significantly increase bathroom safety measures. Removing clutter can also drastically reduce the likelihood that you will trip over unexpected and unseen objects, especially if you are not paying full attention. Making sure that you have handrails well attached to your staircases can decrease risks of taking a sudden and severe tumble. You can also take the time to either secure throw rugs to the floor or remove them entirely to eliminate the tripping hazard they pose.

Burn/Scald Hazards

Burns can be dangers that present both in your kitchen or bathroom. Scalds are a common result of water that is too hot in your shower or bath, steam from foods that are warmed using your microwave, especially when their covers are used. You can also get scalded by hot drinks. In order to combat your risk of burns in your home, there are some simple adjustments that you can make.

When cooking, turn the handles of pots and pans toward the interior of the stove so that they are not as easily flipped toward you in the event of an accident. Never leave pans with oil or fats in them unattended, as they pose a serious risk of starting a fire. Allow time for foods and drinks to cool after cooking or reheating in the microwave. Using a secure surface when eating is also a good way to avoid spills that could result in serious burns or scalds. Always check water temperature before entering the shower or bath. A good way to subconsciously deal with hot water here is to turn on a mix of hot and cold water then adjust once you are already in the shower to your preferred warmth.

Poisoning Hazards

Poisoning and exposure to poisons result in millions of calls to poison control centers each year. A large number of these calls are a result of exposure while in the home, especially when there are children present. In order to reduce your risk of exposure to poisons or a poisoning, you should implement some safety controls.

Labels are essential for recognizing substances and the dangers they pose to you or your family. Make sure that containers are clearly labeled and properly stored. You probably don’t want to keep dangerous liquids or other substances around food products as you may accidentally grab or confuse an item. Separating your household cleaners and other harmful chemicals can also reduce the risk of contaminating food and drink in the event of a spill. Designated areas in the home for these substances can create the separation required to avoid any mishaps. Also, you may want to have a latch or lock for these spaces if you have children in the home to prevent them from potentially life-threatening scenarios.

Rest Easier

When it comes to creating a safe environment in your home the biggest asset you have is your vigilance. Checking and tidying up on a regular basis can ensure that you are aware of potential hazards in your home as well as allow you to take action before they result in a time consuming and costly injury. Implementing a routine can also help you to feel more at ease in your home, which can vastly improve your peace of mind as well as the quality of the time that you spend in your residence.

 

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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