To most of us, home means safety and security. But while our humble abode can be sanctuary from the outside world, it can also be home to many unseen dangers. Did you know that 75% of injury-related emergency room visits among children from birth to 4 years of age are caused by accidents that take place at home? Many of these injuries are preventable. Here’s what you can do right now to make your home safer:
1. Ensure your smoke detectors are working and test them monthly! According to the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office, residential fires are the leading cause of all fire related deaths. Working smoke detectors save lives, yet as a Realtor, I am frequently surprised at how often I see homes where a smoke detector has been dismantled. Don’t let the temporary annoying buzz from burnt toast prevent you from keeping your family and home fire-safe.
2. Put covers on all stove knobs so that a child can’t turn on a burner; add safety lid locks on toilets and medicine cabinets; install safety guards on hot water taps to prevent scalding.
3. Prevent potential slips and falls by changing out your mats and runners to ones with rubber backing. Plug in nightlights in the hallway and bathrooms especially when you have overnight guests who may not know their way around your home in the dark. Ensure that all indoor and outdoor walkways are adequately lit. If your home is listed in the winter, leave on most lights for evening showings.
4. Keep a handy list on the refrigerator of important phone numbers that include the poison control centre, your family doctor, your cell and work numbers. Teach your children how to call 911 in an emergency.
Remember, home safety and knowledge goes hand in hand. Take some time to talk to your family about potential dangers in the home and you’ll reduce the risk of preventable, accidental injuries.