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Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited
Guest This Season

The holidays are a special time of year. People visit the homes of their families and friends. To keep the holidays injury-free, here are some important tips from the Home Safety Council.


Prevent Falls

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Check the lights over all stairways, hallways, porches and entries to ensure all bulbs are working and are bright enough.
  • Stick to the maximum safe wattage, which is printed inside the fixture.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Put non-slip strips or rubber mat in all tubs and showers.
  • Put study grab-bars inside the bath and shower area.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Place nightlights inside bathrooms and in the hallways leading to them.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • If your guests will include a baby or toddler, get safety gates. Place them at the tops and bottoms of stairways.

Prevent Poisoning

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • If you have an attached garage and/or fuel-burning heat or appliances, you need a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Install one on every level of your home, especially near the bedrooms.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Look for products in your home that have these words on the label: “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” “Poison” or “Keep Out of Reach of Children.” Lock these products away.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Put emergency numbers by every phone. These include 9-1-1 and the National Poison Control Hotline 1-800-222-1222.

Be Safe from Fires

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Stay in the kitchen when anything is cooking on the stove.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. Keep all matches and lighters in a safe, locked place.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heaters.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • If you light candles, make sure there is an adult in the room. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Push the test button to make sure all smoke alarms work.
  • If you have not put a new battery in each alarm yet this year, do it now.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • When guests arrive, walk through your home fire escape plan with them. Point out all the exits. Show them where to meet you at your outside meeting place.

Prevent Burns

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Prevent hot water burns by turning your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Install special tub spouts and shower heads that prevent hot water burns. These sense if the water gets hot enough to cause a burn and shut off the flow of water.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down. Use back burners when cooking.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Food cooked in the microwave can get very hot and cause a burn. Use oven mitts when you take off the lid; stir and test food before serving to make sure it is cool enough to eat.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters. Do not use tablecloths or placemats because young children can pull them down.
  • Use a travel mug with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks. This can help prevent a burn if the cup tips over.

Prevent Drowning

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Stay close enough to touch your child when they are in or near water. This includes bathtub, toilet, buckets, pools or spas.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Use toilet seat locks if children live in or visit our home. Use a door knob cover or put a high lock on the outside of the bathroom door to keep children out when you are not with them.

Prevent Choking and Suffocation

Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Put babies to sleep alone on their backs. Keep pillows, blankets and toys out of cribs. Do not hang anything with strings or ribbons over cribs. Mobiles should be removed once the baby starts to sit-up.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Children can choke on small things like buttons, coins, jewelry and toys. If something is small enough to fit in a toilet paper tube, it is not safe for little children. Make sure these items are put away out of children's reach before babies or toddlers come to visit.
Home Safety - Don't Let Hazards Be an Uninvited Guest This Season
  • Read the labels of all toys before you let children play with them. Make sure the child is old enough to use that toy. The label will tell you the safe age.
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