For most of us, our home is a safe haven from the outside world. But did you know children are most at risk at home - simply because they spend the most time there?
The best way to handle an emergency is to be prepared with an emergency phone list. Print and complete this list, then post it by your telephone.
Farmers offers a free Home Safety Kit with tips to make your home a safer place. For your kit (available in English and Spanish) contact a Farmers agent.
Your can further safeguard your new family by following the rules of thumb listed below:
Child-proof your home
Every year, thousands of children are injured needlessly in preventable home accidents. You can make your home a safer place by following these simple steps:
- If your child is under age three, turn a yardstick on end to create an imaginary line around your house, yard and garage; everything below the yard mark should be child-safe.
- Purchase plastic safety plugs to reduce shock hazard of electrical outlets.
- Store all household chemicals out of the reach of children. This includes detergents, cleaning products and cosmetics, as well as commonly recognized hazards such as medicines, pest killers and liquid fuel.
- Keep household chemicals, including cleaning products, in their original packages. Don't store them in cups, soft-drink bottles, cans or bowls that children might associate with eating and drinking.
- To product your child from scalds, reduce the temperature of your hot water to between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit by turning down the control of your water heater.
- Always turn pot handles away from the edge of the range.
- Install nylon netting across deck, porch and balcony railings to prevent kids from squeezing through or getting trapped.
- Since windows may be opened or merely screened, install steel window guards inside the frames to prevent falls.
- Keep adult sporting goods, such as archery sets, dart sets and hunting knives, in locked cabinets.
- Store guns unloaded and locked up, out of reach. Store ammunition in a separate locked location.
- Install bump guards on furniture and appliances that have sharp edges.
- Check to see if your household and garden plants are poisonous. Ask your physician or poison control center.
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Preventing accidents around the home
A few simple precautions can help prevent many common household accidents and keep your child safe around the house. Start today making your home safe using these tips:
- Make sure stairs are clearly lit. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairways.
- Keep exits and passageways free of boxes, furniture and other tripping hazards. Regularly clear the floor of toys, games, magazines and other obstructions.
- Make sure you can see over the top of what you're carrying to avoid tripping
- Make sure that all of your small rugs have slip-resistant backing. Put cut-to-fit rubber matting or two-sided tape on rugs that don't have their own backing.
- Mark sliding glass doors with decals or decorations. Someone could easily walk through what looks like an open door.
- Wipe up spilled water, grease or food peelings immediately to prevent slipping.
- Place a rubber mat or adhesive strip on the bathtub floor. This will reduce the possibility of slipping in the bathtub.
- Purchase bedroom night-lights for children and elderly people. Falls can happen easily in a dark bedroom.
- Wear shatterproof safety glasses when operating any power tool. If you wear eyeglasses, use safety glasses that fit over them.
- Never store inedible products in the same place as food. This may result in an accidental poisoning.
- Don't save medicine. Discard all leftover medications by flushing them down the toilet.
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Fire Safety Tips
- Make sure all family members know how to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
- Have at least two exits from every room in your home. Invest in fire escape ladders for upstairs bedrooms.
- Go through a practice drill every six months. With the whole family, practice what to do in a fire emergency.
- Assign a tree or other landmark where family members can meet after they escape the burning house.
- Teach children to never go back in the house. Train them not to hide from fire under beds, in closets or other places where rescuers cannot easily find them.
Home Inventory Checklist
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Make your backyard a safe place
Your backyard should be a place where you and your family can relax and have fun. A few simple precautions can keep backyard hazards to a minimum:
- Put garden tools and game equipment back in place after you use them. They can cause a fall if they are left lying around.
- Keep your walkways and driveway in good condition. Make repairs before an accident happens. Securely anchor children's outdoor play equipment, such as slides and swings. Make sure they are in good repair and check regularly for worn or broken parts.
- Keep children and pets a safe distance away when you operate a mower or other power equipment.
- Shut off your power mower when you're emptying the grass catcher. Disconnect the power, empty the gas tank and remove the spark plug before you clean or repair mowers.
- If you have a clothesline, make sure it is above head level.
- If you have a swimming pool, it should be surrounded by a high fence that can't be climbed. The fence should be secured by a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Never let children swim unattended, no matter what the water's depth or how experienced you child may be. For small children, even an inch of water can be dangerous.
- For swimmers five and under, the YMCA encourages the use of Coast Guard-approved floatation devices. Unapproved devices such as water wings, floats and rings should only be used with adult supervision and never where a child cannot comfortably stand with his or her head above water.
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This contains generally accepted information about fire prevention and accident prevention. However, because every situation is different, the publishers are not assuming liability for the accuracy or use of the information contained herein.