Safe At Home
Whether you're moving into a new home, or making changes to your current home,
you can make choices that will help make your home safe, especially if you have small children or young visitors.
Remember that most home accidents occur in the kitchen. If you have a choice in appliances, select a stove with controls placed out of the reach of children. Vinyl flooring should be slip-resistant and both cabinets and countertops should have rounded edges. A window that overlooks any backyard play area will help you keep one eye on the youngsters while you're preparing meals.
You can outfit your kitchen with a few simple items that will increase its safety. A step stool will help you reach overhead cabinets safely. A box of baking soda close to the stove can be used to douse small pan fires. You'll need an all-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen, as well. A smoke detector will alert you to fires if you leave the room.
Practice safe habits in the kitchen, too. Clean up spills right away so that they don't make floors slippery or sticky. Remember that long sleeves can catch fire. Store knives in a rack or a drawer that is not accessible to children. Make sure that pot handles don't extend out over the edge of the stove while you're cooking. Keep curtains, papers or other materials away from the burners of the stove.
Accidents can happen in other areas of your home, too. In your hallways, be sure scatter rugs have a skid-proof backing. Lowering light switches or installing switch extenders will help little hands turn lights on or off.
If you're renovating a bathroom, choose a tub with a non-slip finish. Cabinets that lock keep children away from hazardous medications or cleaning solutions. Ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlets should be installed on every outlet near water. (The GFI is designed to shut off the electricity to an appliance that gets wet.) Choose ceramic tiles that have non-skid surfaces on the floor.
Make sure stairways are well lit. A landing will help break up a long staircase and make it safer. Non-skid edges on steps and secure well-placed railings can also prevent accidents.
Taking a few moments to correct any hazards you find will let you have a safe--and happy-summer at home.