A safe home for everyone
Home is often described as an enjoyable, happy place where people feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, home is also the more common place where injuries occur, both inside and outside.
May is National Trauma Awareness Month and injury prevention experts have seen a rise in injuries related to being at home during a pandemic.
Temple Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Santos Soto said kitchen fires are the most common at home incidents crews respond to followed by the overload of extension cords, falls and carbon monoxide incidents.
“Majority of our fire calls come from kitchen fires, unattended cooking or cooking fires,” Soto said. “People often get distracted or have things fall in the oven.”
He recommends residents keep a lid or flat pan nearby while cooking. If you don’t have a lid for your pan you can always use something like a flat cooking sheet.
“Use something that’s big enough to cover the top of your pan to keep them safe,” Soto said.
In addition, the water residents use for cooking can also lead to a visit to the emergency room. It takes about a second for residents to suffer from third-degree burns in 150 degree water.
However, not all accidents begin in the kitchen. Incidents can also start if residents’ overload and overuse extension cords throughout their home. Santos explains that while extension cords have multiple outlets, it’s not recommended to overload them because they can overheat.
Residents are also at risk of falling inside and outside their home. Experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention state more than one out of four people fall each year and once you fall once, your chances of falling again double.
To reduce your risk of falling inside or outside your home Santos encourages residents get rid of things you could trip over, add grab bars or railing where necessary, make sure there’s the proper amount of lighting needed throughout the house and make sure you’re using climbing equipment properly.
“If residents are climbing their house or trees nearby with a ladder, it’s important to make sure the ladder is secure on a flat surface and at a proper angle,” Soto said.
Another common yet entirely preventable incident that occurs at home is carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas is dangerous because it is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and can kill someone within minutes.
Carbon monoxide is often the result of a household appliance that malfunctions or is used improperly. If residents suspect carbon monoxide poisoning in their home, Temple Fire & Rescue has gas meters that can detect this gas.
“Unhealthy housing conditions only put you and your loved ones at risk,” said Soto. “Prevention efforts are important inside and outside to secure your home.”
To learn more about Trauma Awareness month and ways to stay safe inside and outside your home, visit https://www.traumanurses.org/2021-national-trauma-awareness-month