We often spend a great deal of time focusing on safety at work, only to neglect the issue in our own homes. However, there is nothing more important than the safety of our family members. The home can be a dangerous place; however, it does not need to be. There are many simple steps you can take to make your home a safer place by being prepared, limiting risks and preventing exposure to hazardous situations. The following is a list of 10 top safety tips to get you started.
Create an Emergency Response Plan
Create a detailed plan for how family members should respond to different types of emergencies, including escape routes and safe locations. Practice the plan each month, making sure younger children are included.
Test Your Smoke Detectors
Test all your smoke detectors every month. In addition to simply pressing the test buttons, you should visually inspect the batteries themselves, replacing batteries older than three years. Make sure you have adequate smoke-detector coverage throughout your house.
Equip Your Home With a Fire Extinguisher
Every home should have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You may also want to consider placing one in your garage or anywhere you have combustible materials stored. Be sure your extinguishers are easily accessible and train family members on how to properly use them, using the PASS (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) technique.
Handle Your Family's Food Safely
Each year, 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths are caused by food-borne diseases in the United States. Be sure you store and handle food properly in your kitchen, including the use of proper cleaning techniques.
Eliminate Poisoning Hazards
Conduct a walk-through of your home, identifying all poisons and medications. Store these items in an appropriate location out of the reach of children. Post the Poison Control Hotline number (1-800-222-1222) by all of your phones.
Cook With Care
When cooking, never leave your kitchen unattended. Create a buffer zone around cooking surfaces to prevent accidental fires, such as removing hand towels and pot-holders from over your stove. When cooking, turn your handles inward to avoid accidental spills that may cause burns or a fire.
Test Your GFCI Outlets
Test all your ground-fault-circuit-interrupter (GFCI) outlets each month by pressing the black test button, located on the faceplate. If the outlet does not trip, contact an electrician to have it repaired or replaced.
Use Extension Cords Properly
Inspect your house to make sure you are only powering one appliance per extension cord. Never use an extension cord as a permanent wiring solution, such as running one under carpets or through walls and ceilings.
Inspect Your Outdoor Equipment And Safety Equipment
Inspect your children's play toys, including riding toys and swing sets, to make sure they are in good working condition and free of safety hazards, such as sharp edges or protruding screws or bolts. Ensure that you have pool safety (rescue) equipment accessible. Properly store all chemicals for your pool, yard and vehicles.
Maintain A First Aid Kit And Receive CPR Training
Always maintain a comprehensive first aid kit in your home. You can create your own or purchase a pre-packaged kit. Since you never know when a family member or visitor may suffer a heart attack or choke, take the initiative and become CPR certified. It is simple, inexpensive and may just save a life.
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