While no one should live in fear, taking common-sense advice can drastically reduce accidents, injuries and even fatalities around the house. Take a few minutes to assess if you have room for improvement when it comes to these household safety risks. Then, take steps to make changes toward a happy and healthy home for you, family, friends and pets.
Play it Safe
You may have heard it before, but now’s the time to take action. Here are three potentially serious risks to household safety:
- According to the CDC, deaths from fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injuries. Although most people know that having a family exit plan is advised, few have actually implemented one. Make a plan, and ensure fire detectors are in place and maintained. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, too. In the kitchen, never leave stovetop burners unattended, don’t wear loose clothing while cooking, and always set an oven timer. Outside, keep grills 10 feet from the home and flammable objects. When it comes to the dryer, empty the dryer lint trap after every load and have the dryer vent duct cleaned yearly. (Learn more: RedCross.org)
- Cutting fingers and hands with kitchen knives is a common injury. To reduce accidents, keep knives sharp, use proper knife etiquette, and don’t use knives to open plastic packaging.
- Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries. Help avoid falls by wearing proper footwear, keeping clutter picked up and cords out of the way. Have your vision checked at least once a year and understand the medication side effects. Also, safety proof your bathroom, since they are a major location for falls. Click here for some handy balance-improvement exercises. (Learn more: NSC.org)
Some things need to be replaced regularly to avoid bacteria and other contaminants. (Read “9 Nasty Things to Throw Away Today” from AARP.org.) Here are a few items to dispose of now:
- Unused prescriptions and household hazardous waste (such as motor oil, pesticides, antifreeze and paint) can be a major danger to you, pets, children and the environment. Visit FDA.gov for prescription drug disposal guidelines and Earth911.com for household hazardous waste pickup/drop-off locations near you.
- Consider the age and type of plastic containers you are using, as some may contain BPA, a controversial chemical found in certain types of food packaging. In general, avoid items marked 3 or 7 for recycling.
- Replace contact lens cases every one to three months and always use 100 percent fresh solution. Also replace mascara every two to four months. Learn more about eye cosmetic safety at this link.
- In the kitchen, throw out expired food, and keep your kitchen sponge fresh (between replacements microwave wet sponges for two minutes using these WebMD guidelines).
With the advice provided here and the handy reference links, you can make easy and effective changes to reduce serious risks around the house. Then you can sit back and enjoy your (healthy and safe) kingdom!