Tallahassee - School is out for the summer for many Florida children and that means more time at home with friends and relatives. The Florida Department of Health is asking Floridians to make their homes safer by preventing the leading causes of home injury.
"The comfort of our homes can be shattered by preventable injuries,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "I encourage all Floridians to put home safeguards in place to protect our children and families.”
Summer vacation is a fun and exciting time and we might forget to think about safety. Take the time to pause and correct potential hazards before an injury occurs. The department reminds you to take simple steps to create a safer home environment from the five leading causes of home injury – falls, poisonings, fires and burns, choking/suffocation and drowning.
Here are a few tips for making your home safe for guests of all ages:
- Ensure working smoke alarms are in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly to ensure they are working properly and the batteries are good;
- Be sure that fire extinguishers are available on every level of the home and that each household member knows how to use them;
- Cover all unused outlets with safety plugs;
- Check used outlets to make sure they are not being overloaded;
- Install child locks on all cabinets used to store dangerous items such as medicine, cleaners and matches;
- If your home has a pool, hot tub, or other body of water, make sure each is surrounded by five-foot fencing with self-locking and self-closing gates;
- Have your family develop, discuss and practice an evacuation plan in case of fire or other emergency; and
- Equip your home with an emergency supply kit. Visit www.ready.gov for a list of suggested materials.
The department encourages residents to be especially vigilant of small children. Children are active, mobile and curious, making the risk of an accident high. We can help to protect Florida's future by ensuring our homes are safe for everyone.
For more information you can visit the department's Childhood Injury Prevention page.