6 Essential Safety Tips for Your Home This Fall
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2023

6 Essential Safety Tips for Your Home This Fall

As the weather begins to turn and we start to spend more time indoors, it is a good time to perform some routine safety checks around your home’s interior to make sure it’s as safe as it can be. Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in your home.

1. CHECK SMOKE ALARMS: A must-have in every house or apartment, smoke alarms are one of the most important items when it comes to your family's safety. If you do not have one (or more) in your home, get one. They are inexpensive and easy to install. If you have one, be sure to test it to ensure it is working properly. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing smoke alarms at least once a month and replacing batteries at least once or twice a year.

2. CHECK CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: Like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly and replace the batteries once or twice a year. 

3. DISPOSE OF OLD MEDICATION: Look through your medicine cabinets and drawers for any expired, unused, or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication and remove it from your home. SVMC’s MedSafe drop-box is located in the Emergency Department waiting area. You can find a drug drop-off location near you using this link.

If you cannot get to a drop-off location promptly, check the FDA flush list to see if it can safely be disposed of down the toilet. If it is not on the flush list, follow these instructions to discard the medicine in your trash at home.

4.USE SPACE HEATERS WISELY: If your home requires the use of a space heater, read the instructions completely before using it. If your space heater requires venting, make sure you have vented it to the outdoors and always allow at least three feet of empty area around space heaters.

5. GET YOUR FURNACE SERVICED: Before the cold weather sets in, call your heating and cooling company (or landlord) to schedule a time to service your furnace. This will ensure you have heat when you needed as well as allow them to address any leaks or other issues.

6. STORE FIREARMS SAFELY: If you own a firearm, it should always be stored unloaded, ideally in a locked safe, lock box, or a locked gun cabinet. All storage locations should be inaccessible to children. Store ammunition in a separate and locked space than any firearms. When not in use, all firearms should be locked. There are numerous locking options available wherever firearms are sold.

If there are children in your home, talk to them about how guns can seriously hurt your child or someone else. Discourage them from snooping or allowing anyone in your home—including guests—to go looking for guns. Instruct them that if they come across a firearm—even if it looks like a toy—to NOT touch it and to tell an adult immediately.


Sean Burns, MD, is the SVMC EMS Medical Director/District 12 Medical Advisor. 


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