The safety and health
of your loved ones
is important to us.
Tips to ensure you and your family stay safe at home
• Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home and carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas. If already installed, test them. Replace the batteries every daylight-saving time change when you reset your clocks.
• Check for overloaded extension cords - usage should not exceed the recommended wattage. Use surge protectors on all major appliances and electronics.
• Keep all areas clutter free. Pick up, put away, and store household items, clothing, and linens when not in use to keep from tripping over them.
• Avoid slips and falls by keeping floors clean and dry. Clean up spills right away and allow freshly mopped floors to dry completely before walking on them. Area rugs can slip and slide and create an environment waiting for a fall - so either secure them with non-skid under mats or skip them all together.
• Throw away trash and recycle old newspapers and magazines. Sell or donate clothing and household items no longer in use. Most donations are tax deductible so make sure to get a receipt.
• Check walls for loose paint. If re-painting, do so in a well-ventilated area and consider VOC-free paint. Have lead paint professionally removed.
• Extension cords should not be placed under rugs or heavy furniture, tacked up, or coiled while in use.
• All major appliances should be grounded. Be sure to check your ground fault circuit interrupters regularly.
• All air heaters should be placed at least three feet from beds, curtains, or anything flammable. These were not meant to heat the entire house, or to be used for extended periods of time. Immediately unplug the unit if the cord begins to get warm, melts, if you see sparks or flames, or smell smoke. Call 911 immediately if there is a fire present.
• Place all-purpose fire extinguishers in key reachable locations in your home - the kitchen, bedroom, and basement. Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and know how to use them safely. ABC type will cover all possible combustibles.
• In addition to alarms and extinguishers, consider an escape ladder if your home has two floors. Keep emergency numbers and contacts readily available by phone.
• Unplug small appliances and electronics when not in use. Also consider purchasing surge protectors.
• Set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid potential burns and to save energy.
• Take medications and medical supplies out of your purse, pockets, and drawers and place them in a cabinet. Dispose of old and expired medications. They should be returned to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.
• Keep a list of current medications, allergies, your physician’s number, and an emergency contact person’s name and contact information taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet and the bathroom medicine cabinet. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy in your wallet or purse.
• Install hand bars and use a nonskid bathtub mat or floor decals to keep from slipping in the shower and/or tub. Make sure that bath rugs have a nonskid rubberized surface to keep from slipping when getting out of the tub.
• To prevent electric shock, never use electrical appliances while in the tub, shower or near water. Have GFCI electric outlets with circuit trip switches installed in all bathrooms and kitchens as well as any areas near water in the home.
• The UL Mark appears on products that have been tested, verified, and inspected for safety. Make sure to look for it to keep your holidays safe and bright.
• Keep cold foods cold (<40 degrees Fahrenheit) and hot foods hot (>140 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to keep harmful bacterial growth from invading your body's digestive system. Cook foods like eggs and meats completely before eating. Raw eggs and meats can contain harmful bacteria that grows rapidly as food leaves its safe temperature zone. It's better to throw it away than to get sick.
• Keep a flashlight in your nightstand and in a kitchen drawer in case of power failures. Replace the batteries when you change them in the smoke detectors.
• Have a telephone near the bed and in a main living space that is reachable from floor level to call for help should you fall and be unable to stand up. Have emergency phone numbers next to the phone including 911 for the police, ambulance, and fire departments.
• Invest in a small fireproof safe to store valuable documents and valuables. Be sure to store a copy of the key or combination in a safe place or with a trusted friend of family member.
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