By Richie Vraux
Did you know that more than 18,000 injuries or deaths take place right in your own home every year?
The most common are everyday accidents, slip and falls. Falling down stairs or falling because you trip over something are two examples. Make sure your home has adequate rails and banisters and are tightly secured to the walls so they will help thwart your fall if you become unsteady.
Make your walkways safe. Something as simple as a higher wattage bulb in the hallways or stairwells will prevent an unexpected slip or fall. The risks are far greater with senior citizens because reflexes are not as quick as we get older.
Another type of fall might be if you are brave enough to go up a ladder on your roof to do repairs. If you need to do repairs to your roof, clean leaves and pine needles from your gutters or replace burnt out light bulbs, it is always best to be as careful as possible. Nobody ever expects the worst, but it can happen, even to the best of us. Using a safety belt to help secure yourself is the best possible preventative measure.
Children are at high risk of household injuries which may include: choking, falls, being scalded, poisoning, drowning or playing with a gun. As you know, kids get into everything, and you can’t watch then 24 hours a day. Make sure they never get access to your medicines or your cleaning products. They have a tendency to stick everything in their mouth.
Electricity is always a health issue with children. Make sure all outlets are covered with a safety switch plate cover and, without a doubt, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are imperative. If these alarms are not hard wired into your electrical panel, make sure you change the batteries at least once a year.
Another issue may be not having a Disaster Readiness Plan. Be prepared to have at least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member as well as stocking up on batteries and first aid kits - all in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
You may want to go to FEMA’s website at () to get an updated list of what they recommend to have for you and your family in the event you would ever need it Remember the Boy/Girl Scout Motto “Be Prepared”.
There are also seasonal safety issues. Make sure your pool and surroundings are safe and no pool chemicals are left unsecured. There are also potential seasonal hazards around the house. Dimly lit walkways especially during times children will be coming to your house; trick or treaters, Christmas walkways lit ornaments and extension cords, etc.
As you can see, we are all at risk for an accident in the home. Do a room by room inspection of your home. Look for any potential hazard before it affects you and your family and repair or replace if it might affect your well-being.
Richie is a Realtor®/ Broker® with over 20 years’ experience
If you need advice with any aspect of real estate, feel free to give Richie a call at 317-1297.