Objects should not be stored in hallways or paths as they make exiting more difficult in an emergency. For fire safety reasons, nothing should be stored in the stairwell of a building – not even children’s prams. Open and well-lit paths increase safety. If older people are living at home or tend to visit your home, there should be a stool near the entrance for putting on shoes. The safety of stairwells, windows and balconies of the home should also be considered. Handrails and anti-slip stickers on stairs make moving about on the stairs safer. If there are small children at home, the stairs should also have a safety gate. There are latches available for windows that help lock the window into a specific position and thus reduce the risk of falling out of the window. A child lock installed on the balcony door also reduces small children’s risk of falling. Only suitable electric devices intended for outdoor use should be used on a balcony, and extension cords should not be drawn from the indoors to the balcony or terrace. For fire safety reasons, it is important that burning candles are not left unattended on the balcony and that the balcony is not used as storage space.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in terms of accidents at home. The risk of accidents can be reduced by paying attention to the fire safety, utensil storage and furniture in the kitchen. Most home fires start in the kitchen and they are often caused by people’s own action or inaction. Flammable materials should not be stored on or near the stove, and the stove should not be left unattended during cooking. There are various fire safety devices available for the kitchen, such as stove guards and child locks – first-aid fire-fighting equipment should also be close at hand in the kitchen. Fires caused by defective appliances or electric systems usually involve early warning signs: if there are problems with an appliance, it should be repaired before it is used again.
The risk of fire in a kitchen can also be reduced by taking care of cleanliness, such as vacuuming the backs of the fridge and the stove. When the kitchen is clean, slip and fall accidents can also be prevented. In the kitchen’s storage solutions, you should pay attention to the safety of any children, adults or older people using the kitchen. Also ensure that no one needs to stretch for items and a sturdy stepladder with handrails is available as needed. Kitchen knives, other sharp utensils and toxic chemicals, such as detergents, should be stored out of the reach of children.
The living room’s hazards involve bookshelves, storage and potential fire hazards. The living room’s safety can be improved by attaching bookshelves to a wall and placing glass objects and other heavy decorations out of the reach of children, for example. Multiple extension cords should not be connected to each other, and they should be placed so that people cannot trip on them. Anti-slip mats placed under rugs reduce the risk of slipping and falling. If there is a fireplace in the living room, it should never be left burning unattended. Burning candles should also be supervised at all times. Fireplaces and their flues should be swept and inspected annually. When using fireplaces, the instructions for use need to be followed carefully. First-aid fire-fighting equipment should also be stored near the fireplace. A carbon monoxide alarm also makes a fireplace safer.
Hazards in the bedroom involve falling out of bed, tripping in the dark, and fire hazards. To improve safety in the bedroom, an appropriately placed bed of a suitable size is essential. For an older person’s home, a bed with rails and sufficient height can be purchased to make it easier to get out of bed. Children also benefit from beds with rails as they reduce the risk of falling out of bed. A child’s bed should not be placed next to a window. The items kept in the bed must not pose a risk of suffocation or strangulation. Smoking in bed must be avoided. If candles are burned in the bedroom, they must be supervised and put out before going to bed. There should be a smoke detector on the ceiling of the bedroom, and it must be tested regularly. Safety in the bedroom can also be improved by keeping the room clean and in order so that it is not possible to trip on objects or electric wires. Moving about at night is safer when you use a night light.
In the decor of a children’s room or nursery, furniture designed especially for children is often the safest choice. In any case, when selecting furniture and its placement, ensure that the child cannot climb on the furniture and fall off it. Do not store heavy objects on cabinets or shelves. Children’s rooms’ lamps should be sturdy and placed out of the reach of children. There are safety plugs available for power outlets, which should be used in children’s rooms and also in all other outlets of the home. Take care of the safety and condition of children’s toys and follow the age recommendations on them.
The greatest accident risk in the shower room involves slipping and falling. The bathroom floor is particularly slippery when wet and thus requires care: always dry wet floors after taking a shower to avoid slipping. A coarse plastic mat placed on the floor or a floor made of coarse or small ceramic tiles reduce the risk of slipping in the bathroom. The bathroom floor can also be treated with an anti-slip agent. A support handle on the shower wall is also a good solution for preventing slipping. If an older person is living at home, a folding chair attached to a wall makes the bathroom safer. The water supply tap of a laundry machine kept in the bathroom should be in the off position whenever the machine is not in use. The machine should be supervised when in use. To ensure the safety of small children, toxic detergents and chemicals should be stored out of the reach of children, and water containers, such as buckets or the bathtub should always be emptied after use. Hot water causes burns, which is why the bathroom should have taps with thermostats or safety features.
Using intoxicants and drying laundry in the sauna are both risk factors in sauna accidents. Handrails increase safety in the sauna: if you slip or stumble, the rail protects you from burning. When placing handrails in the sauna, follow the safety instructions of the heater and place the handrails securely at least 0.5 metres from the heater. Never dry clothes on the handrails and do not store anything in the sauna – doing so compromises fire safety. Safety can also be increased through sufficient lighting and not bathing while intoxicated.
The safety of the home yard can be improved by ensuring sufficient lighting, cleanliness and winter gritting. The yard is safe for children when the toys and equipment are intact and sturdy and sharp objects do not protrude out of them. Any water containers in the yard should be emptied and hot tubs covered after use. In a children’s playground in the yard, pay attention to the possibility of them falling out of swings. The children’s equipment should not have parts where children may get stuck. The safety of the playground should be inspected regularly, and particularly in spring after winter. Remember that adult supervision is needed even in the safest playground. If there are poisonous plants, such as lily of the valley, growing in the yard, learn to identify them and teach children that the plants are not to be touched. It is important for the safety of the home yard that the paths are unobstructed and there are no objects that block the emergency access roads, such as plants or snow piles in the winter.