Would you believe that more than one-half of the injuries suffered by workers occur off the job? Someone once said that your home is your castle. If this is true, castles are very dangerous places.
Approximately 24,000 individuals are killed each year in home accidents--an average of about 65 deaths per day. The National Safety Council reports that about 3.6 million people are injured in home accidents, which means that one person in 60 was disabled for one or more days in a home accident. About 100,000 of these injuries resulted in some permanent impairment.
With these statistics, it cannot be over emphasized that what you do away from your job is vitally important. At home, we become all too familiar with our environment. Then, to our surprise, we have an accident and wonder why it didn't happen sooner. Falls and burns by gas or electrical equipment lead the list.
In 1982, over 1,036,500 fires in homes claimed more than 5,000 lives and caused $6.4 billion dollars worth of damage. More than twice as many fires occurred in homes than in any other occupancy put together including: restaurants, hotels, schools, manufacturing plants, etc.
You're protected at work and in public places by fire codes and laws that require early warning devices (smoke and heat detectors) and fire extinguishers. It is highly recommended that you obtain the appropriate fire protection equipment for your home as soon as possible. It is the cheapest form of life and fire insurance possible.
Good Housekeeping should be practiced throughout the home. Avoid using the basement, attic or utility room for a dumping ground, especially for combustible materials.
The yard should be kept clear of broken glass, nail-studded boards, and other litter. Electric utensils or tools should be properly grounded if they are not of the "double insulated" type and should always be disconnected when not in use.
You should always tag and identify your main gas and water valves and electrical cut-offs. Be sure that others in your family know where they are located and how to cut the supply in the event of an emergency.
Fuses or circuit breakers should be labeled to identify outlets and fixtures they protect. Good lighting should be available for work areas, stairways, and in the bedrooms of children and elderly persons. Keep emergency phone numbers like police, fire, doctor, utilities, handy by your telephone.
Falls are the greatest killers in the home. Always have non-skid backing on small rugs and avoid using them at the top of stairs.
Use a step stool or utility ladder--never a chair or table--when reaching into high cupboards or shelves. Keep ladders in good condition by replacing loose rungs, worn ladder shoes, and frayed ropes on extension ladders.
Replace cracked or frayed electrical appliance and extension cords.
Don't use aerosols near open flames or while smoking.
Keep firearms secure in a locked rack or cabinet and ammunition stored separately from the firearms.
As on the job, always use the right tool for the job and always get help from a neighbor or friend for heavy or difficult jobs.
Prepare and practice a family escape plan in case of a fire that might occur during the day or night. This plan should include two ways out of every area and a pre-determined meeting place outside of the home.
Smoke detectors of an approved type are a good investment to provide early warning of a fire in the home.
Motor-vehicle accidents are the #1 accidental killers of our children ages 5 and under. Using a child safety seat is estimated to be 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing fatalities.
Look for the UL label whenever you buy appliances.
Wipe up liquid spills immediately.
Turn hot handles away from the stove front so that they don't tempt little children, but don't place them over another burner.
Keep in mind that water should never be poured on a grease fire.
Washers and dryers should be electrically grounded.
Always keep household cleaners, disinfectants, insecticides, drain openers, and medicines in their original labeled containers--separate from food--and preferably locked up and out of reach from small children.
Read the label before taking any medicine.
Keep emergency phone numbers like police, fire, doctors, utilities, handy by your telephone.
Keep all tools properly guarded and out of reach of small children.
Flammable paint thinners and solvents should be kept in metal cans. Their vapors will travel along the ground, so it is important to keep them stored away from gas hot-water tanks, heaters, or other sources of ignition.
When operating a power mower, keep children and pets a safe distance away. Always shut off the mower and make sure the blades are stopped before adjusting the blade or emptying the grass catcher.
Keep the garage door open while running the car engine inside to avoid asphyxiation.
14 Emergency Telephone Numbers to Have Handy
(post by telephone)
4. Family Doctor (Office/Home)
5. Children's Doctor (Office/Home)
6. Other Doctor (Office/Home)
7. Other Doctor (Office/Home)
8. Druggist (Office/Home)
10. Neighbor (Work/Home)
11. Neighbor (Work/Home)
12. Gas Company
13. Electric Company
14. Poison Control Center: 1-800-522-4611
10 Leading Causes of Death in America (1982 figures)
1. Heart Disease (733,235)
2. Cancer (403,395)
3. Cerebrovascular Disease [Stroke] (169,488)
4. Accidents (105,312)
5. Pneumonia (44,426)
6. Diabetes Mellitus (33,192)
7. Cirrhosis of Liver (29,720)
8. Arteriosclerosis (28,801)
9. Suicide (27,206)
10. Homicide (22,202)
5 Most Common Causes of Home Accident Deaths
1. Falls (6,400)
2. Fires, burns, and deaths associated with fires (4,100)
3. Poisoning by solids and liquids (2,300)
4. Suffocation - ingested object (1,700)
5. Poisoning by gasses & vapors (800)