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Ask Americans where they feel safest and most will say their own home.  However, unintentional injuries in the home result in nearly 21 million medical visits on average each year.*  In fact, falls were the leading cause of unintential injury in the home environment, resulting in an average of 5,961 deaths each year between 1992 and 1999. 

The Home Safety Council has dedicated the month of June as Home Safety Month – to educate and empower both families and businesses to take actions that will make homes safe. “We hope to bring attention to the serious problem of preventable home injuries and its leading causes: slips and falls, poisonings and fires and burns,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. “Just a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the dangers in most homes and may even make a lifesaving difference.” Throughout Home Safety Month, the Home Safety Council encourages the public to consider their home’s danger areas and take some simple steps to minimize their risk from potential injuries, or even death.

Prevent Falls

• Have grab bars in the tub and shower.

• Have bright lights over stairs and steps and on landings.

• Have handrails on both sides of the stairs and steps.

• Use a ladder for climbing instead of a stool or furniture.

• Use baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, if babies or toddlers live in or visit your home.


Prevent Poisonings

• Lock poison, cleaners, medications and all dangerous items in a place where children can’t reach them.

• Keep all cleaners in their original containers. Do not mix them together.

• Use medications carefully. Follow the directions. Use child resistant lids.

• Install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas.

• Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if someone takes poison. This number will connect you to emergency help in your area.


Prevent Fires & Burns

• Have working smoke alarms and hold fire drills. If you build a new home, install fire sprinklers.

• Stay by the stove when cooking, especially when you are frying food.

• Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Turn them off when you leave the room or go to sleep.

• If you smoke, smoke outside. Use deep ashtrays and put water in them before you empty them. Lock matches and lighters in a place where children can’t reach them.

• Only light candles when an adult is in the room. Blow the candle out if you leave the room or go to sleep.


Prevent Choking and Suffocation

• Things that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a young child to choke. Keep coins latex balloons and hard round foods, such as peanuts and hard candy out of children’s reach.

• Place children to bed on their backs. Don’t put pillows, comforters or toys in the crib.

• Clip the loops in window cords and place them up high where children can’t get them.

• Read the labels on all toys, especially if they have small parts. Be sure that your child is old enough to play with them.

• Tell children to sit down when they eat and to take small bites.


Be Smart Around Water

• Stay within an arm’s length of children in and around water. This includes bathtubs, toilets, pools and spas – even buckets of water.

• Put a fence all the way around your pool or spa.

• Empty large buckets and wading pools after using them. Keep them upside down when not in use.

• Make sure your children always swim with a grownup. No child or adult should swim alone.

• Keep your hot water at or below 120 degrees F to prevent burns. Visit the Home Safety Resource Center at to review and download free information, including posters, brochures, safety checklists and additional tips to help safeguard your family.


*Through years 1996-2000, based on The State of Home Safety in America™ report, Second Edition.

Source: Home Safety Council

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