Be 'Hands On' About Home Safety

Every year, injuries in the home lead to about 21 million hospital visits, according to the Home Safety Council. June is Home Safety Month; take the time to keep yourself and your family members from becoming part of those injury statistics. Here are some tips from the nonprofit council:

• Make a gangway. Keep hallways, stairways and other high-traffic areas free from clutter.

• Get a grip. Put grab bars and non-slip mats in your shower stall or tub.

• Who are you going to call? Keep lists of emergency numbers prominently displayed by all phones.

• Lock up. Install childproof locks on all cabinets or containers that hold potentially poisonous materials, including cleaners, cosmetics and medications.

• Don’t get into hot water. Set the temperature on your water heater at 120º Fahrenheit or less.

• Where there’s smoke, there may be fire. Make sure each level of your home has a smoke alarm. Check every month to see that they function properly.

• Know the way out. Plan a fire escape route with your family. The route should include two possible exits for each room and an outdoor rendezvous point. Don’t forget to practice with a fire drill!

• Watch the pot. Remain in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.

• Keep the pool safe. Your pool should be guarded on all four sides with fencing at least five feet high that separates it from the house. Keep chairs and tables away from fencing. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching.

• Near the water, stay in touch. Make sure your children are within arm’s length when they are near water – any body of water, from the beach and the bath to buckets.

For more home safety information, check out the council’s Web site at

– Elizabeth A. Allen