There are plenty of occasions in which home owners drop the ball in terms of safety. And it’s not just occasions such as moving into a new home, where there are plenty of distractions that may cause you to forget to check your fire alarms and such. Everyday life lulls us into a false sense of security; a deadly one, that could just cost you, or your loved ones their lives. So how do you lessen the risks in your homes? Could you honestly say that your knowledge relating to such matters is up-to-date? And just how useful would you be in a life or death emergency? To tackle some of these questions and to help you to help the emergency services, we have addressed some of the key areas of home safety.
Your home first aid kit
As advised by the NHS, ‘It’s important to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your home so you can deal with minor accidents and injuries. Your first aid kit should be locked and kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.’
Your basic first aid kit
A basic first aid kit may contain:
• plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes
• small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
• at least two sterile eye dressings
• triangular bandages
• crêpe rolled bandages
• safety pins
• disposable sterile gloves
• alcohol-free cleansing wipes
• sticky tape
• thermometer (preferably digital)
• skin rash cream, such as hydrocortisone or calendula
• cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings
• antiseptic cream
• painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16), or ibuprofen
• cough medicine
• antihistamine tablets
• distilled water for cleaning wounds
• eye wash and eye bath
‘It may also be useful to keep a basic first aid manual or instruction booklet with your first aid kit. Medicines should be checked regularly to make sure they are within their use-by dates.’
Know the location of your nearest hospital and GP surgery
It is vital that you learn what qualifies as a GP, 111, or 999 call. Your decision could be the difference between life and death in an emergency, and unfortunately, could mean the difference between life and death in a non-emergency if you misuse one of the services. To learn more, click here.
Image: Credit to kevinmd.com
Update your knowledge – Take a course
Basic first aid could be needed in a range of situations, whether at work, home or when out for the day. Accidents frequently happen without prior warning, and your skills could make a drastic difference in terms of someone’s injury, or indeed whether someone lives or not.
There are plenty of courses available for those wishing to equip themselves with up-to-date skills and knowledge. We cannot stress enough now important this is.
Plan your fire escape
Creating an effective fire escape plan is vital. Practice this plan with younger children so that they understand what to do in an emergency. Adults often assume that they will be conscious and able to assist younger members of the family, but this is unfortunately not always the case.
Do a fire safety check
Test your smoke detector / fire alarm
Install a carbon monoxide detector
As noted in an article on diy.com, ‘Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas that can cause harmful and potentially fatal effects.’
‘Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels, such as gas. This can occur in inadequately maintained or badly fitted domestic heating appliances, such as boilers and gas fires. If your flue or chimney is blocked, CO will be unable to escape your home if produce, allowing a dangerous concentration to quickly build up.’
‘If carbon monoxide escapes into your home it will cause symptoms that include headaches, breathlessness, drowsiness, vomiting, chest pains, dizziness, vision problems and eventually collapse and loss of consciousness – which can easily be confused with, or misdiagnosed as, flu, fatigue or food poisoning. Be aware of the symptoms and be prepared to react if you recognise them in yourself or others.’
Elderly & those living alone
Some elderly relatives or neighbours may not have a good understanding of how to operate a mobile phone. Having one by their bedside may help in saving their life. Designate some time in which you can teach your relative or neighbour the basics. They may never need to use it, but it is good that they have the knowledge in case on the off chance, they do. Check in on those who live alone; even the most capable individual could suffer an accident and may require help.
Childproofing your home is a good idea, even for those who do not have children. Ideas such as fixing furniture to the wall, so that there is less of a chance of it falling and causing crushing injuries is always advisable. Keeping cords and wires away from where they could potentially trip or suffocate another family member is again, basic common sense, but so many of us forget to do it. For a more extensive child safety check list, please click here.
Allergies: Similar to I.C.E cards; allergy cards can notify schools and clubs of any allergy your child has, and what to do should your child have an allergic reaction.
CPR: An article in the Mail recently revealed how important up-to-date CPR knowledge can be, when a father had to make use of his new skills, resuscitating his infant daughter’s life, only one week after having taken the course.
Pet cards can notify the fire service that there may be an animal in need of rescue. Never attempt to go back for your pet yourself. Cats, dogs and other such animals are usually better equipped in terms of escaping in the event of an emergy, and many owners have been maimed or even killed whilst attempting to rescue them.