Home Safety Tips

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In observance of Home Safety Month in June, the Allegheny County Health Department is offering tips on how to reduce household risks and make every room and area of the home safer.

In the kitchen…Monitor cooking very closely; keep combustible materials such as dish towels, paper plates and paper towels at least three feet from stove- top burners; when cooking, use oven mitts, roll up sleeves and avoid loose-fitting clothing; never store poisons with or near food items; and don’t use a fire extinguisher on open pan fires because its force can spread the burning grease.

In the bedroom...Never smoke in bed; empty ash trays or douse them with water before going to sleep; don’t sleep with candles burning; and keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible materials.

In the bathroom…Keep all medications and cleaning products locked up and out of the reach of children; help young children use the sink and tub and stay within arms reach of them when they are bathing; keep the bathroom door closed when not in use; install grab bars on tubs and near toilet seats for older adults who need help; use a non-sip mat or adhesive safety strips in showers and tubs; and immediately wipe up floor spills that can cause one to slip.

Stairways…Use handrails on stairs; keep stairways clear of all objects; use sturdy, approved child-safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs; and install night lights with on/off switches at the top and bottom of stairs.

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Windows…Install window guards to prevent young children from falling out; move furniture away from windows; never leave young children unattended near an open window; and use cordless blinds or clip loops in cords high to protect young children from a potential strangulation hazard.

Garage…Store dangerous items such as paint, pesticides and gasoline out of the reach of children; make sure an automatic door opener has a safety feature to prevent hitting or trapping a child.

Pool…Install fencing at least five feet high on all sides of a pool and with a self-closing and self-locking gate; never leave a child unattended in a pool or around any water that could cause drowning; and never swim alone.

BBQ Grill…Never put a grill near combustible materials, including wooden fencing or railing or low-hanging tree branches or plants.

Play Equipment…Make sure playsets are safe and sturdy with no loose connections; covers areas around play equipment with soft materials such as mulch or hardwood chips to cushion a fall; and don’t let children under the age of five play on anything more than five feet off the ground.

Fire Safety…Make sure fire alarms are installed on every floor and in working order; and develop and practice a fire escape plan for the family.

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