National Home Safety Month

Habitat For Humanity June 6, 2022

National Home Safety Month

Home Center Corner: National Home Safety Month

By: Sarah Inez Arredondo

 

June is here which means its National Home Safety Month! With news reports often showing fires or other disasters happening to people in their homes, we thought it a great time to leave a few tips to keep from having accidents in and around your home.

Accidents do happen, however listed are things you can do to prevent them or limit the harm they cause.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Tape emergency phone numbers on the wall next to a phone, where they can be found quickly or in some other visible location.  Make sure everyone in the family knows where there numbers are and what to call in an emergency.  Even small children can be taught to call 911 in an emergency.

Fire Safety

Protect your home from fire by inspecting it regularly and having proper safety equipment in place.  Call your local fire department to ask for a free home inspection that can help point out potential fire hazards that you may have overlooked.  A fire extinguisher can help you put out small fires.  Keep one in a visible location and understand how to operate it.  There should be one on each floor, in the garage and in the kitchen.  Keep fire extinguishers out of reach of small children and checked annually by a professional.  A fire blanket made of fire resistant material is most useful in the kitchen, where it can be used to put out grease fires.  Never use water on a cooking fire, only use a fire extinguisher if it is rated for cooking/ grease fires.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a deadly gas that has no odor or color.  This is usually due to poor installation of a furnace, stove, or the lack of proper maintenance.  Small amounts of inhaled carbon monoxide cause headaches and nausea, while larger amounts or exposure over a long period can be deadly.  There are detectors that warn you if carbon monoxide gets to a dangerous level.  Install carbon monoxide detectors in your house in the hall or outside the bedrooms as well as in the living room, and near your main heat source.  As with smoke detectors, you should replace the batteries regularly and purchase new detectors every five years.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are required to be wired into your electrical system, however you should have battery-powered detectors as well.  Working smoke detectors are an important way to protect your family since one of the main causes of death in a fire is from smoke inhalation.  Install smoke detectors outside bedrooms, the kitchen and in major living areas of the house which should be loud enough to wake or alert you in the event of an emergency.

Evacuation Plan

You and your family members should know more than one way of out of the house (windows or doors) if there is a fire, and where you should gather outside.  If there is smoke in the house, you are safest down on the floor as there will be more air closer to the ground.  Keep a flashlight in each bedroom to ensure safe exits if the lights are off.  Teach children not to hide from flames and rescuers especially if they are strangers.  Make sure your children understand that they must get out of the house immediately if they smell smoke or see flames, and that they must tell an adult or call 911.

Security

Any house should have doorknob locks, dead bolts, chains or some combination of these.  In addition, windows should also have working locks.

Child Safety

If you have small children or have friends or family with young children who visit your house often, you should look around your house and make sure it’s “child friendly”.  There are a variety of products on the market to protect children from harm.  Listed are a few examples:

-electrical outlet covers

-safety gates for stairs or doorways

-flex locks for cabinet doors that are hard for young hands to open

-drawer latches

-corner covers

-stove knob covers

First Aid Kits

Cut fingers, bee stings, sprains and the common cold are examples of things that can happen to you or your family.  It’s helpful to have supplies on hand to deal with them.  You should also have necessary medicine to help you manage a particular medical condition.  For instance, asthma sufferers should have inhalers in case of an attack.  You can find a list of suggested first aid kit supplies at www.cfhinfo.org.

 

Do you have more tips to add to our National Home Safety Month blog?  Let us know in the comments.

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