June 6, 2011
By Guy Henderson
Here at the MTA , keeping our customers safe is the most important thing we do, before, during and after every trip. But keeping an eye out for hazards at every turn isn’t just an on-the-job affair. Now that National Safety Month is here, we thought you might find it useful to be aware of some of the most common causes of accidents at home.
As you might suspect, falling-related injuries are the leading cause of non-fatal, unintentional harm for people of all ages. An average of 3.8 million residential fall injuries (and the resulting emergency room visits) take place every year. So make sure that double-sided tape is working on those area rugs you just have to have; be certain that toddler gates are in place and working; use non-skid mats around the bathroom; and stow those wires. There are more and better ways to protect yourself too.
Poisoning is the second leading cause of home injury, with approximately 2.5 million calls placed to poison centers annually nationwide regarding human exposure. We won’t list all the ways to stay safe here, but for gosh sakes, keep cleaners, medicines, cosmetics and other potential hazards out of the reach of kids. There’s lots more you can do, but at a minimum, keep the National Poison Center phone number handy in case of an emergency: 1-800-222-1222. And by the way, have you checked your home for radon lately?
Residential fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional home injury deaths. If you don’t have a WORKING smoke detector with fully charged batteries in several places in your home, you are literally playing with fire. There are plenty of other ways to protect yourself against a home fire , but at least have a Home Fire Escape Plan for starters. Keep flammable stuff away from space heaters and fireplaces. Have a fire extinguisher handy. And do we really need to say you should never leave a room with a lit candle burning? Good. Didn’t think so.
One last safety tip. Keep a list of emergency contacts in a visible place around your home. Just print out and fill out the form with some of your most important numbers on it. In an emergency, every second counts.
Actually, that wasn’t the last tip. Even if you remember nothing else about what you just read, the best advice we can give is summed up below.