Keeping Your Home Safe

Posted October 8th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

Accidents are the leading cause of death in people under 45, and they account for about a third of all injury-related emergency room visits, according to the CDC. In-home accidents are also the leading cause of homeowners insurance claims, but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk.

  • Dog Bites – There are over a million instances of dog bites every year. The CDC recently estimated the number to be as high as 4.7 million. Every year, over half a million dog bite victims have injuries serious enough to send them to the emergency room, and dog bite claims are driving insurance premiums up. Know what you can do to prevent dog bites, and make sure your family and friends are safe around your pets.
  • Slips and Falls – Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for children up to age 19, and approximately 8,000 kids are rushed to the emergency room every day for injuries resulting from falls. To keep kids safe, always supervise their playtime, and use safety gates to keep toddlers away from stairs. One-third of all seniors also take a tumble every year. While falling down may not seem like a serious problem for most adults, older folks have brittle bones and falls commonly lead to hip fracture and even premature death. To keep your home safe, eliminate tripping hazards, add grab bars and railings, and make sure there’s adequate light.
  • Fireworks – According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, seven people died and approximately 7,000 were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2008. Most of these took place in the weeks surrounding Independence Day, and of those injuries, more than 40% were children under 15. Always supervise children when using fireworks, and leave the large displays to professionals.
  • Poisoning – In 2008, more than 2,000 people a day were seen in emergency rooms due to accidental poisonings, and poisoning death rates went up by 63% from 1999 to 2004. With such a dramatic rise in fatalities, it’s more important now than ever to pay special attention to household chemicals. Don’t store food and chemicals together, and always keep substances in their original containers to avoid confusion.
  • Accidental Fires – Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in the U.S., and the third-leading cause of home accident fatalities. To keep your loved ones safe from fire, install approved smoke detectors and routinely check batteries. Keep cooking areas free of fabrics, and use caution when operating space heaters.
  • Choking – In 2000, 160 children ages under 15 died from choking. More than half of these cases involved non-food items such as toys being ingested by children. When you consider that every choking death represents about 100 trips to the emergency room, you start to grasp the size and scope of the problem. To keep kids safe, keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of reach, and always supervise children at play.
Categories: Home Safety Tips

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