Making your home safe in the new year
The New Year is now upon us and many of you may be trying to keep active, save more money or spend more time with loved ones, but one resolution we can all make is to stay healthy and safe at home. Your home is where you should feel most secure and now is the perfect time to carry out a few quick checks to ensure you are living in a home that is the safest it can be.
Prevent falls: Make sure all hallways, stairs and paths are well lit and clear of objects and be sure to use rails and banisters when going up and down the stairs. Secure all area rugs to the floor so they do not move when you walk on them, and try not to place area rugs at the bottom or top of stairs. Remember not rush to answer the phone as many people fall trying to answer the phone.
Avoid bathroom hazards: Have grab bars installed in the shower and near the toilet to make getting around easier and safer and put rubber mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
Prevent poisoning: Never try to heat your home with your stove, oven, or grill since these can give off carbon monoxide, which is a gas that you cannot see or smell, but is deadly. Make sure there is a carbon monoxide detector near all bedrooms, and be sure to test and replace the battery twice a year. Keep all medications in their original containers so you don’t mix up medicines, and it’s always a good idea to take them in a well lit room so you can see the labels.
Stay warm: Safe and efficient heating will help you be as comfortable as possible in your own home. Service your gas appliances regularly, employing a certified professional. Thermometers help ensure that rooms do not fall below a certain temperature. For living rooms, the recommended temperature is between 18 and 21°C. For other rooms, the recommended temperature is not less than 16°C.
Fire safety: Many fire and rescue departments in the UK offer free home fire safety checks, so be sure to contact your local fire department to schedule a home safety check. Also, make sure a phone is installed beside the bed in case of an emergency, and draw up a plan of what you would do in the event of a fire.
Change your safe code annually: With cleaners, care staff, doctors and delivery men all potentially having the code to get into your home, there a few people who could get to know your code through the year. Therefore by changing the code every January, it will reduce the risk of unauthorised people getting their hands on your keys.
Keep emergency numbers handy: Always keep a list of emergency numbers by each phone and write this big enough that you could read it easily if you were in a hurry or frightened. Be sure to list numbers for: local emergency services, fire department, police department, family member or friend to call in case of emergency, and the doctor’s office
Of course, it’s important to stress that this advice shouldn’t make you afraid of being in your own home. Rather, I hope it simply acts as a gentle reminder to make easy checks which can significantly reduce the risk of anything serious happening.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you all the best for 2019
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