Each year, many adults and children are injured in and around their homes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 1981, over 622,000 people over age 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with products they live with and use everyday. CPSC believes that many of these injuries result from hazards that are easy to overlook, but also easy to fix. By spotting these hazards and taking some simple steps to correct them, many injuries might be prevented.
MedicineNet provides an excellent home safety checklist which you can use to improve the safety of your home. Use this checklist to spot possible safety problems which may be present in your home. Keep this checklist as a reminder of safe practices, and use it periodically to re-check your home.
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In all areas of your home, check the following items for potential safety issues:
rugs, runners and mats
electrical outlets and switches
woodburning stoves and chimneys
exits (emergency exit plan)
proper ventilation in cooking areas
Key Safety Questions
In addition to checking the items above, consider the following safety related questions.
- Are emergency numbers posted on or near the telephone?
- Are any outlets and switches unusually warm or hot to the touch?
- Do you have an emergency exit plan and an alternate emergency exit plan in case of a fire?
- Has the chimney been cleaned within the past year?
- Are exits and passageways kept clear and well lit?
- Are bathtubs and showers equipped with non-skid mats, abrasive strips, or surfaces that are not slippery?
- Are small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, shavers, curling irons, etc., unplugged when not in use?
- Are all medicines stored in the containers that they came in and are they clearly marked?
- Are ash trays, smoking materials, or other fire sources (heaters, hot plates, teapots, etc.) located away from beds or bedding?
- Is anything covering your electric blanket when in use?
- Do you ever go to sleep with a heating pad which is turned on?
I* s there a telephone close to your bed?
- Can you turn on the lights without first having to walk through a dark area?
- Regarding your fuse box or circuit breakers: if fuses are used, are they the correct size for the circuit?
- Has the grounding feature on any 3-prong plug been defeated by removal of the grounding pin or by improperly using an adapter?
- CHECK FLAMMABLE AND VOLATILE LIQUIDS: are containers of volatile liquids tightly capped?
- Are gasoline, paints, solvents, or other products that give off vapors or fumes stored away from ignition sources?
For more information on consumer safety, please visit the National Home Security Alliance