There are many ways to protect your home from invasion. A wall with armed archers stationed atop the parapets, a moat with a drawbridge leading to a serious gate, uniformed guards, a barking dog or an alarm system with a screeching siren have all worked well for different owners at different times. But none of them are foolproof, and most of them haven’t helped to protect residents from more common dangers.
Bad things happen to people in their own homes that have more to do with the dangers within than with invasion from without. And, if there’s anywhere you should expect to be safe, it’s in your own home — right?
Be Aware of Hazards
First, it’s vital to know just what the dangers are. According to the National Safety Council, poisonings overtook motor vehicle crashes in 2011 as the leading cause of “unintentional-injury-related death” for all age groups in the United States. Although the most common form of poisoning is from prescription drugs, including opioid abuse, there are other causes, including radon gas, carbon monoxide poisoning, lead poisoning, ingesting button batteries, and common household cleaners and toxic products.
In addition to the danger of poisoning, however, other home-grown threats to safety include:
- Choking and Suffocation
- Fires and Burns
- Natural and Environmental Incidents
Assess Your Home’s Dangers
Now there’s a simple way to put a measuring stick on your home’s safety — The Westmead Home Safety Assessment. Developed in 1997 in Australia, originally as a way to identify falls hazards that put older adults at risk, the 72-item checklist is a good way to identify and address potential problem areas.
While the Westmead assessment only targets risk for falls, it offers a comprehensive overview of home safety management, and can be a good starting point for addressing home safety concerns, both inside and outside the actual structure. Falling is the “#1 cause of death” for people age 65 and older, and is the third leading cause of “unintentional-injury-related death” across all age groups. In 2015 alone, 33,000 Americans died from fall-related injuries.
More people end up in U.S. emergency rooms because of fall-related injuries than from any other cause.
Falls can occur anywhere — they are common on stairs, along uneven outdoor walks, and in the bathroom — so it pays to pay special attention to those areas as you consider ways to make your home safer.
Take Reasonable Precautions
In addition to falls, the bathroom is home to a host of other hazards, including cuts and scrapes, drowning, electrocution, scalds and burns and, of course, poisoning and drug abuse. Kitchens and laundry rooms are prone to fires, and bedrooms quickly become from smoke and noxious fumes.
There are good ways to manage and monitor the risks, though, to allow residents ample warning in case of fire, smoke or air quality emergencies, and to notify authorities when warranted. ProtectAmerica can be your first line of defense with home security systems and monitored response. Why not contact us for a quote? It’s a great way to assure your peace of mind as well as your safety.
Our security systems can also be valuable early warning systems in case of storms and other natural disasters. Ask about glass-break detectors and water/flood sensors. We’ll work with you to make your home as safe as possible.
What we can’t do is build that moat; we won’t train your guard dog either!