Home Safety Checklist by UL

September 16th, 2012 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Fireplaces & Woodstoves, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

UL offers some great home safety tips. Here are our favorites, check their website for more:

  1. Sound the Alarm: Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas. If already installed, test them! Tip: Replace the batteries every daylight-saving time change.
  2. Avoid Overload: Check for overloaded extension cords – usage should not exceed the recommended wattage.
  3. Don’t Get Tippy: If young children are in the home, bookshelves and other furniture should be firmly secured with wall brackets to prevent tipping.
  4. Childproof, Childproof, Childproof: Check your local library or online for complete lists of childproofing suggestions. Areas of particular danger include outlets, appliances, electronics, stairs and windows.
  5. Cover Outlets: Cover all unused outlets to prevent children from sticking a finger in the socket.
  6. Keep Extinguishers Handy: Place all-purpose fire extinguishers in key locations in your home – the kitchen, bedroom and basement. Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and know how to use them safely.
  7. Go New in the Nursery: Check that all painted cribs, bassinettes and high chairs were made after 1978 to avoid potential lead paint poisoning.
  8. Put Away Medications: Take medications and medical supplies out of your purse, pockets and drawers, and put them in a cabinet with a child safety lock.

Check the UL website for more information.

What are your favorite home safety tips - post them in the comments below.


Preventing Child Injuries During Home Safety Month

June 29th, 2009 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Consumer Protection, Family Safety, Senior Safety | 1 Comment »

More than 9 million children between birth and age 19 are seen for injuries each year in U.S. emergency departments, and injuries are the leading cause of death among children in this age group.

During Home Safety Month —and all year—take some simple hands-on steps to make your home safer. You can protect the ones you love by preventing child injuries at home.

Learn more about it here.


Home Safety for Seniors

June 29th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

Here’s a great group of tips from Gillian Grigor at grandparentscafe.com:

Front path and steps

  • Make sure that the paths to the house are even, no major cracks, roots or rocks.
  • Keep steps and paths clear of snow and ice.
  • Check the stairs - no holes or uneven concrete.
  • Hand rails, both sides if possible.
  • Path and front entrance well lit. Movement-detector lights work well.

Entrance, Hallways and Stairs

  • Declutter - make sure that shoes are put away and outdoor clothes hung up. If there are children, teach them to put their toys away.
  • Lighting - halls and stairs should be well lit. A night light in the hall between bedroom and bathroom is vital.
  • Take up any loose mats that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Check that stair rails are secure.

Bedrooms

  • No loose mats or rugs
  • Make room around the bed, especially if your elderly Mom or Dad uses a walker.
  • Have an easy to reach lamp by the bed. If it is awkward to reach the lamp, a sound activated (”clap-on - clap-off”) lamp will help.
  • A phone beside the bed.
  • For folks stiff with arthritis or others who may feel light-headed when they first stand up, a bed assist handle is a great help in preventing falls.
  • Again, keep the area around the bed as clutter-free as possible.

Bathroom

  • Where possible install wall bars at the end (tap end) of the bathtub and one on the far wall. A wall bar beside the toilet may also help.
  • Some all in one piece, preformed tub surrounds should not have wall bars added. Clamp-on tub grips, or a floor-to-ceiling pole next to the tub can be used.
  • Use non-slip mats in the tub or shower.
  • A tub or shower stool is useful for those with poor balance.
  • Any medications should be clearly marked. A dosette or blister pack will make it easy to keep track that the medications are taken as prescribed.

Living Room

  • Remove loose rugs and mats
  • Make sure that there is room for a walker if one is used - coffee tables often have to be moved out of the way.
  • Avoid rocking/swivelling chairs
  • Loose electrical cords are a tripping hazard. Route them away from traffic areas where possible, or use duct tape to fix them to the floor.
  • A portable telephone is safer than a fixed phone. Many falls occur when people are rushing to answer the phone. Keep the handset nearby at all times, putting it back in its charger beside the bed overnight.
  • Have good lighting, easy to reach switches.

Kitchen

  • Make sure that essential utensils are easy to reach
  • Use a sturdy step stool to reach higher cupboards
  • Have a smoke alarm and be sure to check the batteries regularly
  • If your older person has fairly severe memory loss, it may be necessary to limit their cooking or even unplug the stove.
  • See that any spills are quickly wiped up.

 
Author Gillian Grigor is the proud grandmother of two 9 year olds and a new grandbaby boy. For more grandparenting ideas, you can visit her website:http://www.grandparentscafe.com - This site offers information on grandparent’s rights, distance grandparenting, seniors health, as well as photos, stories, games, and more.
 


A Fall can be a Life Changing Event for Seniors

April 5th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

Falls are the most common home hazard, especially for seniors. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year. (Source: LearnNotToFall.com)

“You can’t underestimate the danger of falls - especially for older people” says Martin Simenc, president and CEO of Home Safety Services. “A fall can be a life changing event, often preventing someone from living at home again.”

The CDC recommends that older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their risk of falling. They can:

a. Exercise regularly; exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.

b. Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.

c. Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.

d. Improve the lighting in their home.

e. Reduce hazards in their home that can lead to falls.

Expert recommend installing grab bars in the shower and bathtub, using bathing seats instead of standing in the shower, eliminating throw rugs altogether, and keeping hallways clear and well lit.

A medical alert system should be considered. More than three-quarters take place either inside or in close proximity to the home, where a medical alert system can be of immediate assistance.


Top 10 Home Safety Tips

April 2nd, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Fire Safety, Senior Safety, Water Heaters | 1 Comment »

1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Test them monthly. If your smoke alarms are ten years old or more, replace them. If you build or remodel your home, install fire sprinklers.

2. Develop a fire escape plan for your family: Point out two exits from each room, pick a meeting spot outside, and hold a fire drill at least twice a year.

3. Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.

4. Keep all stairways, paths, and walkways well lit. Use railings.

5. Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls, and use a non-slip mat or adhesive safety strips inside bathtubs and showers.

6. Post the National Poison Control Hotline number (1-800-222-1222) and other emergency numbers next to
every phone in your home.

7. Install child locks on all cabinets used to store dangerous items such as poisons, matches, and lighters. Install carbon monoxide alarms.

8. Keep your water heater setting at 120°F or less.

9. Install four-sided pool fencing with self-locking and selfclosing gates. Fencing should completely isolate the pool from the home and be at least five feet high.

10. Constantly supervise children in or near bodies of water such as pools, ponds, bathtubs, toilets, and buckets.


Lockbox Program Aimed at Making Seniors Safer

March 27th, 2009 | Filed under: Home Projects, Home Storage, Safes and Lockboxes, Security, Senior Safety | 2 Comments »

(Source: Yuma Sun)

On occasion when emergency responders receive a 911 call and arrive at the residence, the person who made that call may be physically unable to answer the door, which may be locked. 

  In that case, responders must break a door or window to gain access, causing property damage that will only amount to an added expense for the person who made the call. But thanks to a new federal grant, a pilot program installing Knox boxes on certain homes may be changing all that in the near future in the Yuma area.

  “This program will allow us quick access to homes that have ‘at risk’ clients in them,” said Jill Harrison, director of the Western Arizona Council of Governments. “Because we provide various in-home services such as in-home meals to the elderly that are living alone, we have already identified those people who may be most in need of this service.”

  The Knox Box is make by the Knox Co. in Phoenix.

  Harrison stressed that none of the Knox boxes has been installed, but they soon will be ordered and then installed by local fire departments, free of charge to the client.

   “A Knox Box is a small simple lockbox that either attaches to the home or to the door,” she said, “much the same as real estate companies use. A key to the home can be left inside and only the local fire department has a key that will fit the lockboxes in their area. It is very safe and secure.”

  Currently, the Area Agency on Aging, a division of WACOG, is cooperating with six local fire districts in coordinating the ordering and installation process. Those six fire districts are the Kingman Fire Department, Bullhead City Fire Department, Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire Department, Quartzsite Fire Department, Yuma Fire Department and Yuma Rural/Metro Fire Department.

  Each department will receive 50 of the Knox Boxes to be loaned to senior citizens to increase their security.

  “One of the things we like best about this program is that we can use the same lockboxes over and over in different locations,” said Harrison. “So if someone moves, we can use that lockbox at another location.”

  According to Harrison, funding came from the Older Americans Act and the National Caregiver Support Program.

  “We’re referring to this as a pilot program, but we also recognize that we might only get funded for this program one time, so we’re trying to use the money as efficiently as possible. The Knox lockboxes cost between $150 to $160 each, depending upon whether it is the type that must be mounted on the house or simply attached to the door.”

  Harrison said there are other benefits to the program as well as the increased security for senior citizens living alone.

  “We’re building a really effective series of partnerships through this program and that can carry over into other areas in the future that we can’t even see today.”


Preventing Slips and Falls in the Home

January 10th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | No Comments »

Each year unintentional falls caused or led to thousands of deaths. All age groups are vulnerable, but older adults are most at risk. In fact, 80% of those receiving fatal injury are over the age of 65. Falls continue to be the major reason for injury-related death, injury and hospital admission for older adults.

Follow these tips to prevent slips and falls in your home:

» Keep the floor clear. Reduce clutter and safely tuck telephone and electrical cords out of walkways.

» Keep the floor clean. Clean up grease, water and other liquids immediately. Do not wax floors.

» Use non-skid throw rugs to reduce your chance of slipping on linoleum.

» Install handrails in stairways. Have grab bars in the bathroom (by toilets and in tub/shower.)

» Make sure living areas are well lit. We can all trip and fall in the dark.

» Be aware that climbing and reaching high places will increase your chance of a fall. Use a sturdy step stool with hand rails when these tasks are necessary.

» Follow medication dosages closely. Using medication incorrectly may lead to dizziness, weakness and other side effects. These can all lead to a dangerous fall.