Home Safety : Keeping our Homes Safe and Secure
The word “home” evokes images of a place where one feels secure and warm, a place where one can truly be himself. We spend more than half our lives at home, and this being the case, we want our homes to be as comfortable and safe as it can be. After all the money and sweat we spend to buy a house, we deserve no less.
Every homeowner should be mindful of dangers that can come from different corners, so to speak. It’s good practice to look up articles that deal with home safety topics and look at adult and child home safety products that could be incorporated in the home.
Home Safety Facts and Stats
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2018, there were more than 125,000 injury-related deaths in the United States. What is notable is that these deaths were preventable in nature. Furthermore, this figure constitutes 75% of all preventable injury-related deaths for that year. Statistics for that year indicate the there were more than 37 million injuries that occurred in homes and communities.
Among children under the age of fifteen, two primary causes of death were cited:
· Mechanical suffocation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a report published more than ten years ago, added the following causes of fatalities among children:
The NSC report shows that poisoning is the leading cause of home injury-related deaths among adults.
Dealing with safety issues within the home is crucial. However, there are threats from outside as well. Home intrusion remains to be a concern that every homeowner should keep in mind and guard against.
A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report cited the following facts regarding home safety:
· In 2017, there were more than 1.4 million reported burglaries, a figure that shows a decrease of 7.6 percent from the previous year.
· 67.2 percent of all burglaries were made on residential property.
· Burglaries accounted for 18.2 percent of all property-related crimes.
· Total losses to burglaries were an estimated $3.4 billion. On the average, victims lost $2,416 to burglars.
General Safety Tips
There are many resources on the internet on how to keep our homes safe. Below is a general summary of areas that homeowners need to check plus some things that one can do to maintain safety and security.
Areas to Check
Rooms — Start by checking rooms for mold, dust and lead paint. Mold and dust can be the source of allergies and asthma and other respiratory ailments. Make sure to use the dust mops more often. If your house was built before 1978, the paint used was probably lead-based, so that’s something you may want to look into in order to avoid lead poisoning.
- Secure electrical outlets by using safety covers, especially if there are children around. If you use extension cords, make sure that they are the correct type. Don’t overuse extension cords either as they they be the source of fires.
- Ensure good air circulation to eliminate pollutants in the air that can affect your family’s well-being.
- Install smoke alarms in every room.
- Make sure that hallways and passageways are adequately lighted.
Kitchen — Always remember to wash your hands before preparing food. Wash your hands after handling raw food items like meat and poultry.
- Keep flammable materials away from the stove!
- Never mix cleaning materials. The reactions that result from mixing chemicals may result to injuries or worse.
- Keep the handle of pots and pans on the stove away from the reach of children. Make sure they are pointed inward.
- Keep your knives stowed when not in use. Definitely keep them away from children.
Bathroom — Never use electrical gadgets and extension cords anywhere near the tub or shower, especially when the water is running.
- Use non-slip mats in the tub or shower to prevent slipping.
- Keep the bathroom dry. Wipe or mop away water on the floors.
Outside Areas — Check fences and gates for rotten wood or rusty metals.
- Make sure that tools and chemicals are stored properly.
- If you have a pool, install safety devices such as covers or fences when not in use.
- Use sunscreen, hats and insect bite lotion whenever you are outside.
- Always empty water containers such as pails when not in use to avoid drowning in the case of small children.
Protection from intruders — Install a home protection system that includes reliable security cctv cameras.
- Install locks on all doors. As an additional safety measure, it is advisable to keep all doors locked when everyone’s inside the house.
- Look through the peephole and check the identity of persons who knock on your door.
- Always retrieve your mail. When you are away, ask your neighbors to collect them for you. A mailbox that’s full is something that intruders take as a sign that nobody’s home.
- Dogs are not only man’s best friend, but they protect the home and warn against dangers too. Adopt a dog or buy one. I suggest adopting a dog. Go visit the nearest shelter and give a dog a forever home.
Other Things to Keep in Mind — If you have a gun, keep it in a case, or a gun rack. Install trigger locks and most importantly, learn proper gun handling and pass them on to family members.
- Report unusual or suspicious activities to the police.
- Take note of pests such as rodents and cockroaches and termites. Refer them to professional pest control companies.
- Involve the whole family in helping keep the home and everyone safe.
- At this time, let’s be mindful of recommendations on how to keep ourselves and our families safe from the virus. Let’s be mindful of both our welfare and that of others. Remember, we are in this fight against the Covid-19 virus together!