This year, we’ve run articles on the Healthy Homes Program, where we focused on the principles of Healthy Homes: Keep It Dry, Keep It Clean, Keep It Pest Free, Keep It Ventilated. The next principle to discuss is Keep It Safe.
Safety around the home is something that we think is common in every home, yet injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Injuries are not accidents. They are preventable. Of these injuries, falls are the leading cause (33%), followed by poisoning (27%), and fires and burns (18%). Safety is the reason that most municipal governments have required codes for homes, such as a smoke detector in every bedroom, handrails required for stairs and deck steps, anti-tilt devices for ovens. Even ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) are designed and required in order to prevent injuries. These codes go a long way in helping to keep a home safe.
There are however, many areas where it is up to us. For example, if you have young children and you open your windows, do you have a window safety guard? Do you lock up your medicines or household chemicals? 82% of homes have medicine in unlocked drawers and 69% of homes with young children have chemicals in unlocked areas. Any product that has a label that says warning, danger, or caution should be in a secure location or locked away. Too often, peoples store products like drain opener under the kitchen sink, where it is easily accessible.
When we hear about injuries or deaths around the home, it may seem incredible that preventative actions weren’t taken, but sometimes we just don’t realize there is a potential problem. For example, a household with no children really doesn’t need safety locks on drawers or doors, or covers for electrical outlets. However, if there are grandchildren that visit the home, this could be a problem. If you should ever see a potential problem in a friends home, be a friend, and let them know about it.
Through our recent training to become a certified Healthy Homes inspector, in conjunction with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation St. Louis Chapter, we have developed a 65-point, whole house inspection for families who deal with allergy and asthma issues to help identify and remedy environmental issues that cause problems. We’re offering this inspection at a reduced rate of $90 for the next month for anyone affiliated with, or who mentions the AAFA-STL when scheduling their appointment (normal value is $140). What’s more, for every 5 inspections performed, Get It Done is offering one hour of service to AAFA-STL clients.