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IRC Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016
By: IRC Blog

9 ways to make your home safer this spring

According to AARP, about 18,000 Americans die from accidental injuries in their homes each year. While you’re doing your spring cleaning, take a look at your home or apartment for hazards that can cause injury or illness.

The April issue of the AARP Bulletin contains 99 tips to keep you safer at home. Here are some ideas that anyone can accomplish easily and inexpensively:

Clear your path. Remove or anchor throw rugs. Repair loose carpeting. Make sure low furniture, such as footstools, aren’t in the middle of traffic patterns. Clear electrical cords or clutter that could cause you to fall. 

Install a carbon monoxide detector. This invisible gas is a silent killer. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector and alarm on each floor of your home. Change the batteries in your existing carbon monoxide and fire alarms. 

Seek out and destroy mold. Check the wet areas of your home for mold, which can cause problems with your respiratory and immune systems. It usually develops when there’s a plumbing leak, faulty seal around windows or inadequately ventilated bathroom. If you find mold, call in someone to remove it and fix the source. 

Destroy dust mites. These microscopic critters are found in carpeting and bedding. They can aggravate asthma and allergies. Wash your bedding in very hot water once a week. Expose pillow and quilts to the sun if you can. Dust mites die when humidity falls below 40 to 50 percent, so use a dehumidifier in humid weather. 

Install anti-scalding devices. These inexpensive devices (about $40) are easily installed in showers and tubs. They automatically turn off water that gets too hot. 

Light the way. Use night lights in hallways, stairwells and bathrooms, and put bright light bulbs in closets. Illuminate your path to the bathroom with motion-sensor lights. Make sure entrances, exits and stairs are brightly lit. 

Take care when cooking. Many injuries happen in the kitchen. Place pots and pans at waist level for easy access, and always use a mitt when handling hot pans. Install devices such as timers and motion sensors that can automatically turn off ovens and stovetops if left unattended. Microwaves cause more emergency visits to the ER than any other kitchen device. Take care when removing food from your microwave; allow it to cool for a few minutes first. 

Keep your mobile or smartphone charged. Make it a routine to plug in your device every night, and keep it near you at all times in case you have an emergency. 

Get a handle. If you have a hard time turning round doorknobs, consider installing lever-style handles, and use door locks that can be opened from both sides. 

Find dozens more tips here.



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