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Easy Home Safety Tips

Create a safer home and lifestyle for your family. Take these important do-it-yourself steps to make day-to-day living less hazardous and to be ready for emergencies.

Keeping a level head in times of emergency is critical. Being prepared and knowing what do will help you stay focused so you won't panic.

Child safety and health expert Debra Holtzman offers these easy-to-implement home safety tips:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Change batteries once every year; test them monthly; replace the units every 10 years. Smoke alarms can cut your family's chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
  2. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area and place one at least 15 feet from any fuel-burning appliance. CO poisoning associated with using fuel-burning appliances kills more than 200 people each year and sends about 10,000 to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.
  3. Set your set water heater to 120 degree F. Scalding water kills about 100 people in our country each year.
  4. Assemble a fully stocked disaster supplies kit. Include nonperishable foods, water, manual can opener, flashlights, radio, and batteries.
  5. Assemble a fully stocked first aid kit.
  6. Enroll in an infant/child CPR and first aid course.
  7. Post emergency telephone numbers near every phone in your home.
  8. Always use a food thermometer to be sure foods are safely cooked. Food-borne illness causes approximately 5,000 deaths each year in the US.
  9. Test your home for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. High radon levels exist in approximately one out of every fifteen homes.
  10. Keep up-to-date on recalled products by visiting Recalls.gov website

Debra Holtzman is the author of the popular book The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety (Sentient Publications), which is full of useful information on eliminating hazards in the home and protecting children from household dangers.

She is featured on the TV series "Make Room for Baby" on the Discovery Health Channel.

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