Home Safety: A Comprehensive Guide

General Home Safety

There are many areas of home safety that are very important to know about. These can include anti-theft and break-in installations, preventative measures and unexpected crises. On average, there are around 245 deaths a year related to home accidents. In particular, it is vital to educate children and make them aware of these issues.

  • National Safety Council – The NSC is a non-profit group providing education and resources to help prevent accidents and save lives in homes.
  • Home Safety Council – The HSC, another non-profit organization, provides information on how to keep adults and children safe from home injuries.
  • Code Red Rover – Kids will be entertained and educated at this HSC-related site that offers tips and games on safety.
  • McGruff, the Crime Dog – The National Crime Prevention Council’s site for kids features McGruff, a crime-fighting hound, with a host of tips and advice for children.
  • All About Safety – Browse articles, videos and other resources about different safety topics, including first aid and child safety.
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – The government’s CPSC site is targeted at informing consumers about product safety issues, including potential hazards and recalls.
  • Children’s Safety Network – The U.S. Department of Health offers the CSN for parents to learn about injury prevention in children.
  • Safe Kids USA – Parents and teachers can find out about preventing common injuries at home and school.

Poison Prevention

In the average American home, there are dozens of products that could easily poison a person if ingested. This includes cleaning products, fuels, medications, car fluids, liquid cosmetics, and personal care products. Other types of poisons include bites or stings by scorpions, snakes or spiders. In order to protect yourself and your family from poisons it is best to keep any chemicals out of reach of children and away from food products.

  • . American Association of Poison Control Centers – The AAPSC offers plenty of information on the types of poisons that can be found at home and what to do if someone has been poisoned.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Poisons – Learn about household poisons from the EPA’s online resources and how to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Safe Kids: Poison Prevention – Parents can download a number of fact sheets and access safety tips and videos on poison prevention and treatment.
  • Poison Prevention Week Council – The PPWC holds a national week geared towards education people on poison prevention, with numerous educational materials online.
  • Tips on Preventing Poisoning – A website for parents, from the non-profit Nemours Foundation, offers valuable advice on child-proofing storage areas that contain household poisons.
  • What is Poisoning? – The National Institute of Health (NIH) breaks down the definition of poisoning and shows how it can be introduced internally.
  • Poison Help – Find out how to take action in case of a poison emergency, with resources from the Department of Health.

Fire and Burns Prevention

Accidents involving fire and burns are deadly but easily preventable. Approximately seven deaths are reported each day due to home fires. Ensuring that kitchen fires are always attended, keeping an active smoke alarm system and smoking outdoors are a few ways to prevent fires. It is equally important to teach kids about fire and burns, and safeguarding them from accessing dangerous areas.

  • Aspects of Fire Prevention – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) provides various articles for residents on fire prevention.
  • Sparky, the Firefighting Dog – This fun, colorful kids’ site (from the NFPA) introduces them to fire safety guidelines through games, cartoons and interactive features.
  • National Fire Protection Association – The NFPA lists fire safety standards for homes along with consumer safety information.
  • A Parent’s Guide to Fire Prevention – The Nemours Foundation lists simple but effective ways for parents to keep their homes safe from fire hazards.
  • Fire Dos and Don’ts – The NIH provides a brief list of habits that people should maintain or avoid at home to reduce the risk of fires.
  • In Case of a Fire – Brush up on how to work a fire extinguisher, evacuate the home and more.
  • USFA Kids’ Page – The USFA has created a fun website for kids to learn about fire safety with games, coloring pages and word searches.
  • Recognizing a Burn – Learn about the different types of burns and why it is important to treat them immediately.

Water Safety

For many youngsters under the ages of twenty-five, drowning is the second most common factor leading to accidental death. Parents and children should know about water safety guidelines in the pool and bathroom. Infants and toddlers especially should never be left unattended in areas with large amounts of water, even if it is shallow.

  • Staying Safe in the Water – A guide for teens, from the Nemours Foundation, outlines all you need to know to stay safe while swimming.
  • Water Safety Tips – Safe Kids offers a water safety guide for parents, with sections on different areas.
  • Red Cross: Water Safety – Parents and babysitters can find out how to keep kids safe with this list of indoor and outdoor water safety tips from the Red Cross.
  • Safety in the Pool – The University of Michigan has published a guide on staying safe in the swimming pool, whether at home or at the rec center.
  • National Water Safety Program – The U.S. Army hosts a water safety program with information for parents as well as kids
  • Prevent Water Accidents – Read about water accident prevention tips from the NIH.
  • National Water Safety Congress – The NWSC promotes water safety and education in recreational activities.
  • Take a Water Safety Quiz! – Help kids to review their knowledge of water safety with a quiz from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Emergency Preparedness

When natural disasters strike, it is important not only to know how to act but also to be prepared. This can include floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Keep emergency kits in an easily accessible spot and practice evacuation procedures as a family.

  • Natural Disasters – The NIH documents some of the most common types of natural and man-made disasters.
  • Be Prepared! – The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management shows how to prepare an emergency kit and how to survive.
  • Disaster Survival – This government site teachers civilians how to stay informed, plan and be prepared for natural disasters.
  • Surviving Natural Disasters – A Bay Area committee of organizations lists preparation resources for adults and children.
  • National Center for Disaster Preparedness – The NCDP posts news and updates on disaster preparedness research and progress.
  • Preparing for a Hurricane – Learn about creating a plan, finding a safe location and preparing a kit, from the National Hurricane Center.
  • Preparedness for Kids – The government’s site for kids helps them to understand what needs to be done in case of an emergency.

Fall Prevention

Falls mostly affect seniors, children and those with disabilities each year. However, the layout and design of the home can also affect others and worsen the number of falls. Often, repeated falls may signal an underlying cause.

  • Fall Prevention Center of Excellence – Learn about the causes of falls at home and how to prevent them.
  • Prevent Falls – Find information on fall statistics and related research.
  • Preventing Falls at Home – Learn how to prevent childhood injuries due to falls from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
  •  Seniors and Falls – The CDC explains how seniors experience more falls and how dangerous it can be.
  • Tips to Avoid Falls – The HSC provides a photographic guide on how to prevent falls at home.
    Fall Prevention Network – Denver area citizens can find local fall prevention services.
  • Fall Prevention Tips – Seniors can help prevent themselves from falling by reading up on some key guidelines from an elder care service.
  • Falls at Home – Find out about the different causes of falls and how to avoid them.

Infant and Toddler Safety

Infants and toddlers tend to be curious enough to crawl into just about every nook and cranny during their formative years. Since they cannot yet identify possible dangers, it is up to their parents to safeguard them. This can include child-proofing doors, keeping items away from table edges and supervising infants while they are out of their cot or high chair.

Senior Safety

There are many safety aspects that should be considered when seniors live on their own. Personal safety is a key issue and it is crucial to take active steps in preventing burglars and other criminals from breaking in. Senior lifestyles are also different. Their homes should reflect this with safety features such as non-slip mats and hand grips in bathrooms, or stair assistance devices.

  • Center for Healthy Aging – The National Council of Aging provides an online resource with information about senior health.
  • Safe Living for Seniors – The National Emergency Medicine Association showcases programs and tips to show seniors how to be independent but safe.
  • Emergency Kits for Seniors – A list of special items for a senior’s emergency kit is provided by the State of Illinois.
  • Senior Drivers – AAA reveals how to help senior drivers stay safe and how to know when they should not be driving.
  • Senior Safety Guidelines – Minnesota’s police department suggests helpful tips for seniors on staying safe in and around the home when alone.
  • Senior Home Safety – The HSC shows seniors how to manage medications, prevent fires and more.
  • Senior Home Safety Network – SHSN is a program run nationally to help seniors live at home safely.
  • Safety Checklist for Caregivers – Caregivers of seniors can use a checklist from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to determine the safety of a home.

Pet Safety

Like infants, pets also tend to get into awkward spots or chew on wires and other dangerous items. Keep hazardous materials out of reach and have a vet’s contact details in a prominent area. Pets also require special consideration in case of emergencies and natural disasters.

One Response to “Home Safety: A Comprehensive Guide”

  1. Neddie Riggsbee Says:

    You should add to your list under Drowning Prevention the Drowning Prevention Foundation. A leader in drowning prevention for over 30 years. Go to their website….drowningpreventionfoundation.org

    The Mission of DPF is to be a leader, catalyst, partner and Voice for all drowning prevention advocates and others to ensure all children will be kept safe from death & disabilities.! And, by constantly educating the public and supporting policy change.

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