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.


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.


Consumer Reports Risk Survey: 48% of Americans Don’t Have Carbon-Monoxide Detectors

February 5th, 2009 | Filed under: Carbon Monoxide, Energy Efficiency, Food & Nutrition, Home Projects, Slip-and-Fall | No Comments »

YONKERS, N.Y., Feb. 2 — PRNewswire-USNewswire – Some 48 percent of Americans don’t have a carbon-monoxide detector at home, 24 percent sometimes fail to fasten a seatbelt, and 39 percent often eat raw dough when making cookies, according to a nationally representative poll of 1,000 Americans conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

This is the second part of a two-part series that looks at risky behavior. The first half was published in the February 2009 issue of Consumer Reports.

The poll reveals what behaviors Americans do which they probably shouldn’t including: occasionally using the top step of a ladder (31 percent), sometimes having a beer while using a power tool or mower (13 percent), and letting their kids play on a trampoline (43 percent).

Also, the survey shows what behaviors Americans don’t do that they probably should including: having a rubber mat in the tub or shower (61 percent don’t), changing batteries in smoke alarms yearly (21 percent don’t), and eating burgers only well done (32 percent don’t).

The full report on how often Americans take risks is available in the March 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, on saleFebruary 3 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

The results are revealing because these behaviors can cause real harm, according to safety experts at Consumer Reports and elsewhere.

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, safety belts saved 15,147 lives in 2007.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that carbon-monoxide poisoning claims almost 500 lives in the U.S. each year.
  • The CDC notes that a common cause of food-borne salmonella infections is under-cooked or raw eggs, often found in cookie dough. Salmonellosis causes an estimated 1.4 million cases of foodborne illness and more than 500 deaths annually in the United States.
  • Based on Consumer Reports’ analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission data, more than 105,000 hospital-treated injuries in the U.S. in 2007 were linked to trampolines.

The poll revealed men were slightly more likely than women to let children play on a trampoline, and women were more apt to eat burgers well done, fasten their safety belt religiously, and clean lint from the dryer after each use. Respondents ages 18 to 35 were more likely than older folks to eat raw cookie dough; those 55 and older were more likely to have a rubber mat in the tub or shower.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a random-digit-dialing telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. In all, 1,000 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviews took place in October 2008. The margin of error is +/- 3% points at a confidence level of 95 percent.

MARCH 2009

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports(R) is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, Consumers Union accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. Consumers Union supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.


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.