How to Make Your Home Safer For Family & Guests in 2021

This post was published on Jan 18th 2017, and updated on January 19th, 2021.

HouseTake a good look around your home. Is it as safe as it could be? Not only do you want to ensure that your family is kept out of harm’s way, but you want your home and property to be safe for your guests as well. While chances are slim that someone in your family will sue you for compensation for an injury sustained in your house, a guest very well might. There is no time like the present to make sure that your home is free of hazards to your family and guests.

Each year, more than 18,000 people in the United States die due to injuries sustained in the home. The unfortunate thing is that most of these deaths are completely preventable. Home accidents are the reason that more than 21 million Americans seek medical attention each year. The most common issues that lead to injuries inside and around the home are:

  • Slips and falls
  • Poisonings
  • Suffocation
  • Drowning
  • Medications
  • Water heaters set at too-high temperatures
  • Improperly stored firearms
  • Inadequate railings and banisters

Insurance protecting family health live, house and car concept. Cut elements from paper that symbolize the coverage.

Sanitizing

Of course, we couldn’t even discuss home safety in 2021 without talking about COIVD-19. The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and though the vaccine, and masks will improve our chances of leading a healthier life post-COVID-19, we will never truly be the same. So, we must adjust how we live our lives and that means adjusting how to keep our homes safe and clean for guests and for our family.

We recommend keeping your home as clean as possible and limiting contact with the outside world.

  • Wear reusable or disposable gloves for routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
  • Clean or launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • If someone is sick, keep a separate bedroom and bathroom for the person who is sick (if possible).
  • Clean any dirty surfaces using soap and water first, then use disinfectant.
  • Clean or launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Be sure to clean thoroughly and keep your face covered throughout the cleaning process.

Falls and Home Injury Deaths

Falls are the number one cause of deaths that occur in the home. Close to 6,000 people lose their lives each year after falling at home. This is especially common among our aging population. More than 600,000 people were seen in hospitals due to at-home falls in 2010. The older we get, the more likely we are to have to be hospitalized due to injuries sustained in these falls. People over 75 are four to five times as likely as other age groups to be confined to a hospital or care facility after falling at home.

Preventing falls in the home is not difficult. One of the first things to do is to clear the clutter. Don’t be tempted to put things on the floor or let them pile up. Get rid of loose rugs or put tape under them. Make sure that railings and banisters are in proper order, and add more lighting to hallways and staircases. If you have hard flooring, encourage guests to wear their shoes in your home rather than walking around in socks. This can help to prevent slipping on slick surfaces.

Poisoning

Poisoning is more likely to cause injuries to children than adults. It can also be a dangerous hazard for any pets in the home. Cleaning products should not only be stored in cupboards, but in high cupboards or low ones that are locked. Food containers should not be used to store toxic materials, and all storage containers should be labeled. Do not mix household cleaning products together unless doing so has been proven to be safe, and always supervise children in the kitchen.

Poisoning can happen quickly. Keep the number for the poison control center in plain view. You can also store the number in your cell phone for easy access.

Now that we are living in a post-COVID-19 world, there will be far more cleaning products and sanitizers left out in arms reach. Be careful to keep your cleaners locked away or out of arms reach whenever possible. For the most part, there is no proof that hand sanitizer is bad for you. However, the FDA has updated the list of hand sanitizers that people should not use.

Suffocation

Small children can choke or suffocate on the smallest objects. Anything that can fit in a child’s mouth should be kept in a safe place. Ropes, cords and strings should be out of the reach of children, as should plastic bags. Keep an eye on your little ones — and adults — during meal times. Talking and chewing, let alone moving and chewing, can be a recipe for disaster. If you don’t already know it, learn the Heimlich maneuver so that you can come to the aid of a person choking in your home.

Drowning

Drowning can occur in the bathtub as easily as in the pool. If you have a pool, it should be surrounded by a fence with a locking gate. Do not let children play near the pool on their own, and always stay in the bathroom with a small child who is bathing. Keep toilet lids closed, and clear any standing water from your lawn.

Medications and Other Substances

Medications can be enticing to children. Many medications can easily be confused for candy, thanks to their bright colors. All medications should be kept away and out of reach of children. Teach your children that they are not to touch medication bottles, either prescription or over-the-counter. Also enticing to children are fruit- or candy-flavored nicotine liquids for electronic cigarette devices. Be sure to keep these far out of their reach, as they can be deadly to children.

Hazards in the home are easily overlooked. As an adult, you know not to take medication that isn’t yours, you understand not to run around a pool, and you know not to put plastic bags over your head. Don’t assume that your children know the same or that your guests will behave as expected. Clear the clutter today to prevent yourself from having to pay up in court later.


hospitalIf you are injured due to a slip and fall or other accident in West Palm Beach, the team at Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here for you. Call us today and speak with a Miami slip and fall lawyer to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of any compensation you may be entitled to. Let us help you move forward with your life.

About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.

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