A Guide to Home Safety

Most of us feel safe in our home, but dangers lurk in every corner. Your home may harbor toxins from its building materials. A wide range of poisons may be found in your kitchen cabinet, medicine cabinet, and garage. The electricity used to power household appliances can cause electrical shock or death. And if that isn't enough, you could fall, drown, or even experience a fire in your home. Fortunately, by being aware of household hazards and taking the precautions outlined in this article, you can guarantee that your "home, sweet home" is a "home, safe home." Here's a quick preview:

  • A Guide to Household ToxinsMany household toxins, like lead, radon, asbestos, and formaldehyde, come from the materials used to build homes. They can cause a variety of serious health problems, from fatigue and headaches to lung cancer. Polluted drinking water and allergens in the home can also make you sick. But there are ways to detect these dangers and eliminate them from your home.
  • How to Poison-Proof Your HouseMany people, especially children and the elderly, die from accidental poisoning at home. Common household poisons like detergents, insecticides, vitamins, and prescription medications can seriously injure a child who ingests them. Elderly people who take prescription medicines can be poisoned by accidentally taking a second dose. However, most cases of accidental poisoning can easily be prevented by ensuring that poisons are stored properly and kept out of the reach of children.  
  • A Guide to Household Electricity HazardsThe electricity in a home can be a dangerous power source if proper precautions are not taken. Electrical shocks from coming into contact with electricity can knock you unconscious, cause burns, and even be fatal. By taking simple measures like covering outlets with safety plugs, keeping electrical appliances away from water, and turning off circuit breakers before attempting electrical work, you can reduce your risk of coming into direct contact with electricity.
  • How to Prevent Accidental FallsThe elderly and those with certain medical conditions are especially at risk for accidentally falling at home. However, no matter what your age or health status, you can fall due to carelessness or putting yourself in risky situations. Falls can result in minor injuries like bruises or cuts, or more serious injuries like broken bones and burns. Fortunately, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling by following safety tips like moving carefully and removing obstacles from your home.
  • How to Prevent DrowningDrowning is a leading cause of accidental death, especially for children. Drowning does not happen just in homes that have swimming pools -- children can drown in small containers of water, like a bucket or a toilet. Simple steps like installing a fence around your pool and never allowing someone to swim alone can help ensure that a drowning death will never occur in or around your home.
  • A Guide to Household Fire HazardsMost deaths due to household fires can be avoided by properly installing and maintaining smoke detectors. Having working fire extinguishers, keeping lighters and matches away from children, and using caution around portable heaters are just a few more ways you can lessen the chances of a fire devastating your home. While it is impossible to completely fireproof your house, you can make it much safer for your family.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.