During the observance of National Safety Month and throughout the year, it’s important for people to be safe while working around the house. You can start by engineering a home environment that is safe for all family members . In addition, if you are undertaking home improvement projects, always make sure to think through the risks before you get started.
Here are just a few of the most common risks to watch out for:
- Falls – Injuries caused by falls are the most prevalent hazards of home maintenance work. Slippery floors and stairs and scattered tools and toys are fall hazards that must be corrected. Wear non-skid shoes when working in wet and slippery areas. Make sure that the ground is free of impediments, especially when you are carrying heavy things and won’t be able to easily survey the floor.
- Fires – Fires cause damage to property, illness, and even death. Avoid burning unattended candles in the house, and don’t leave items cooking on the stove when you are not present. Install smoke alarms in different parts of the house to sound a warning if a fire starts.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning – Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas. Exposure to the gas can cause dizziness or headaches. When exposed to a high level of carbon monoxide, people can suffer from serious injuries, including death. Install carbon monoxide detectors in strategic parts of the house.
- Choking – This is a major cause of accidental death, especially among children. Educate kids about the hazards of choking and the measures they can take if they encounter someone else who is choking. Keep small toys and other items out of reach of small kids.
- Cuts – Using knives or other sharp tools can lead to cuts. Avoid cuts by keeping sharp objects out of the reach of children. If you need to use sharp tools, make sure you wear protective clothing, such as gloves.
- Strangling – Watch for cords that could pose a risk of strangling for small children. Be careful if you are working around electrical cords.
- Drowning – If you have a pool, make sure to have it fenced, and keep the gate locked. Otherwise, kids could enter the pool area unattended. If you are cleaning the pool, be careful not to fall. People have occasionally slipped on the wet cool decking and fallen in the pool, losing consciousness on the way down.
Don’t be overconfident when tackling projects around the house. You may think you are not at risk for an accident, but we are all vulnerable. Take a few minutes to evaluate risks and figure out ways to avoid them.