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Tips for Home Safety

An accident or injury can occur in any part of your home. Some safety hazards are obvious — such as a toy truck left lying at the top of the stairs. Others are not so easily identified — such as a stairway railing that has become loose.

Create a safer home by taking simple precautions.

Be prepared

Have telephones in easy reach of both your bed and the place you sit most often.
Place emergency phone numbers on or near every phone in your home.
Buy a first-aid kit. Keep one in both your home and your car.

Avoid Fires

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house. Test them periodically to make sure they work. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.
Place fire extinguishers in the kitchen and other rooms. Make sure you know how to use them.
Never smoke in bed.
Turn off appliances when they are not in use.
Run electrical cords along walls, not under rugs.
Don't overload outlets and extension cords.
Never store flammable liquids such as cleaning agents and paint supplies near heating units.
Keep space heaters a safe distance from combustibles. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
Have more than one escape route from your home. Practice these routes with your family.

A Recipe for Careful Cooking

Keep flammable objects such as curtains, aprons and dishtowels away from stoves.
Never wear loose clothing near a stovetop while cooking.
Never leave cooking unattended.
Don't cook if you are drowsy.
Heat oil slowly. Heating oil too quickly can easily start a fire. If a pan catches fire, carefully place a lid over the pan and turn off the heat. Leave the lid on until completely cool.
Always clean appliances and surfaces after cooking to prevent grease buildup.
Make sure handles on cookware are secure and always turned toward the center of the stove when cooking.
Use a step stool instead of a chair to climb to a high shelf.
Ensure that all sharp tools such as knives, forks and scissors are kept in a safe place.
Keep glass objects and appliances with sharp blades out of children's reach.
Unplug all appliances when not in use with cords out of children's reach.
Store vitamins, medicine bottles, masalas in high cabinet.
Store matches and lighters in locked cabinet.
Position chairs away from the stove.

Avoid bumps, burns, bruises and falls

Make sure staircases are well lit and have convenient switches and night-lights at the top and bottom.
Securely fasten all carpeting and make sure all throw rugs or area rugs have non-skid backing.
Install rubber mats or safety decals in bathtubs and showers.
Close cabinet doors and drawers when they are not in use.
Keep staircases and hallways free of clutter.
Never go up and down stairs carrying things that could block your vision or put you off balance.

In the Bathroom

Store razor blades, nail-scissors and other sharp tools in locked cabinet. Ensure that electrical outlets have grounded circuit breakers.
Unplug electric razors and hairdryers when not in use.
Get non-skid surface.
Fix electrical switches outside bathroom.
Avoid using immersion heaters.
Keep bottles of mouthwash, hair dyes and hairsprays out of children's reach.

In the Garage

Keep all tools and supplies gardening, automotive and lawn care units in a safe place.
Keep all hazardous automotive and gardening products in a locked cabinet.
Keep bleaching powder, cleaning powder and detergents out of children's reach.

Electrical precautions

Cover unused outlets with safety plugs.
Ensure that all major electrical appliances are grounded.
Ensure that all electrical cords in the house are properly insulated (no broken or exposed wiring).
Check and remove other potential electrical fire hazards such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires.
Position TVs, computers and stereo equipment against walls.

More links on Home Safety-

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Ar Shahdad Karim B Arch FIIA, graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from College of Engineering, Trivandrum (CET), University of Kerala, took his Post Graduation in Construction Management from National Institute of Construction Management and Research (NICMAR), Pune and a Diploma in Project Management from TAFE, Australia.
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