National Public Health Week: Take precautions; keep your home safe

Editor's note: This column regularly appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It will appear today and Tuesday-Sunday for National Public Health Week. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Monday marks the beginning of National Public Health Week that runs through April 10. This year's theme is "Safety is No Accident."

Today, we have some tips for ways to improve safety around your home:

1. Make sure your house or apartment is fire-safe. It is important to have smoke detectors on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Check your smoke detector to ensure that the batteries are working and replace them regularly. Also, make sure you have fire extinguishers in working order.

2. Cooking dinner at home can be a great way to eat healthy. But, it also poses some hazards. To stay safe in the kitchen, make sure that pot handles are turned toward the back of the stove so that they are not accidentally knocked off. Also, never leave cooking food unattended, this could cause a fire to start.

3. When you go to bed or leave the house, make sure candles and space heaters are extinguished or turned off. If you rely on a wood burning stove for heat, make sure it is sealed completely and the damper is down.

4. Avoid slips, trips and falls. By putting non-slip strips in the tub or shower, you can reduce the likelihood of accidentally slipping and injuring yourself. Additionally, make sure walkways and stairs are kept free of clutter that could become a tripping hazard.

5. Keep poisons and chemicals in their own separate storage area, away from food. It's a good idea to store anything poisonous in a locked cabinet as well, to prevent accidental ingestion.

6. Lots of people love to tackle home improvement projects. Protect your eyes with safety glasses and make sure that you have the appropriate safety equipment to take on your next do-it-yourself project.

7. Outlets and sockets can be overwhelmed by too many plugs. Not only can this increase the risk of a fire, but the mass of cords could become tangled and cause someone to trip. If you have too many things plugged in, consider purchasing surge protectors, or moving items to a different area to plug in. Secure cords with wire ties or electrical tape to help keep them in order.

8. Dryers run most efficiently when the lint traps and hoses are free of debris. You can minimize your fire risk and your utility bill if you clean your dryer lint traps and hoses regularly.


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