Home Safety Tips
To make your home safer, you can make these simple, inexpensive changes:
Safer In-Home Mobility
- Reduce clutter inside and outside your home.
- Move anything that could cause slips or trips including doormats, throw rugs, wires and electrical cords.
- Be sure carpets are secured to the floor and stairs. Use non-slip rugs or attach rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
- Have enough lighting in each room, at entrances, and on outdoor walkways. Use light bulbs that have the highest wattage recommended for the fixture.
- Good lighting on stairways is especially important. Light switches at both the top and bottom of stairs can help.
- Place a lamp within easy reach of your bed.
- Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power is out and you need to get up.
- Arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk freely.
- Remove any furniture that could be a hazard (juts out, moves if leaned on, etc.)
- Install sturdy banisters or railing along both sides of stairs and walkways.
- Properly place and securely fasten grab bars in tub and show and next to toilet.
- Place everyday items within easy reach.
- Put reflector tape in hallways to create a path to follow at night.
- Put reflector tape on stairs.
- Widen treads and/or shorten stair risers.
- Replace outdoor steps with ramps.
- Put good night lights in bathroom.
- Avoid wet or newly polished floors.
- Have smoke alarms on every level of house.
- Test every month so that you can hear from any room in house.
- Change batteries as needed.
- Have a fire escape plan that shows 2 ways out of every room.
- Make sure your escape plan works for everyone, including those who may use a wheelchair, a hearing aid, or glasses.
- Make sure exits are always clear and not blocked with furniture or other items.
- Put cigarettes out safely in an ashtray with a wide base that will not tip over.
- Never smoke around medical oxygen.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
- Check to make sure there are no electrical cords run under rugs.
- Check to make sure all electrical cords are in good condition and not broken or cut.
- Clean the dryer of lint after every use.
- Put important emergency and medical phone numbers in large print next to phone.
- Keep contact information complete and up-to-date.
- Consider ordering a medical ID bracelet especially if you or a loved one has a chronic health issue. Information on medical conditions, such as diabetes or asthma; drug and food allergies; prescribed medicines; and emergency contacts can be engraved onto the surface of these bracelets and pendants.
Sources: National Association of Senior Move Managers, National Institutes of Health and FEMA.
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