Safety in Your Home

Prepare an emergency kit:

Emergency Supplies
  • Portable radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Canned foods and bottled water
  • A 1-to-2-week supply of medications
  • Cash, checkbook, credit cards
  • Warm coat and blanket for cold weather
  • Sturdy shoes

Medical Supplies

Keep these with you should evacuation be necessary:

  • Eye glasses, hearing aid, dentures
  • Assistive devices
  • Incontinence briefs and dressings



Post emergency phone numbers at each phone.  Prepare now and keep together:

  • Identification of documents
  • Names/phone numbers of relatives/power of attorney
  • Names/phone numbers of health providers
  • Health insurance cards
  • Medication list, allergies, blood type
  • Style/serial numbers of medical devices (e.g., pacemakers)
  • Information for pet placement


  • Keeping car gas tank full at all times
  • Maintaining an alternative heat source-wood, propane heater

Preventing Burns

Most burn injuries occur in the home.  Take a few minutes to read over these suggestions:

In the kitchen:

  • Make sure the handles of pots and pans don't stick out over the edge of the stove where they could be bumped.
  • Don't leave stirring utensils in pots while cooking.
  • Turn off burners and ovens when they are not in use.
  • Have adequate dry pot holders or oven mitts available near your stove. (Using a wet potholder could result in a severe steam burn.)
  • Do not toss wet foods into deep-fat fryers or frying pans containing hot grease.  The violent reaction between the fat and water will splatter hot oil and may cause severe burns.
  • Remove lids and covers from pots of cooking liquids carefully, pointing away from you, to prevent steam burns.  Remember, steam is hotter than boiling water.
  • Use only proper containers in a microwave oven.  Let microwave-cooked food or liquids cool before carefully removing covers.

Hot Water

  • Adjust your water heater's thermostat to below 120 degrees Farenheit to prevent scalds at the kitchen sink or in bathtubs and showers.
  • Always turn on the cold water faucet first, then the hot faucet next.  Reverse the order when turning off - hot first, then cold.

Child Safety

  • Keep matches and smoking materials out of the reach of children.
  • Do not allow children to play around fireplace fires or around space heaters.
  • Cover unused wall outlets with safety caps and replace any damaged, frayed or brittle electrical cords.
  • Do not leave hot irons unattended.
  • Do not leave hot barbecue grills unattended and supervise children's cookout activities such as toasting marshmallows or hot dogs.

Treatment of burns

First Aid for Burns

  • For first-degree and second-degree burns, cool the burned area, preferably with running cool water, for 10 minutes.  This will carry the heat away from the victim's skin and reduce the pain.  Third-degree burns require emergency medical treatment.  Cool them only with wet sterile dressing until help arrives.
  • Putting butter or grease on a burn hoods in heat, which makes the injury worse. This may have been practiced by your grandparents and their parents, but it is not recommended as it will do more harm than good. 
  • After cooling the burned area, wrap it loosely in sterile gauze or a clean cloth.

Serious Burns:

  • To minimize the risk of shock, keep the victim's body temperature normal.  Lay the victim on his or her back and cover unburned areas with a clean, dry blanket.  Remove rings or tight clothing from around the burned area before swelling sets in; if possible, elevate the injured areas.
  • If your clothing catches on fire, remember: Stop, Drop and Roll. The severity of burns caused by burning clothing can be reduced by following three simple steps.  Stop: Don't run.  Running feeds oxygen to the fire and makes it worse.  Drop: Fall to the ground or floor immediately.  Roll: Cover your face with your hands and roll over and over to smooth the flames.  Naturally, many people, especially children, panic when their clothing catches fire.  Be prepared to tackle them if necessary to help them follow these three steps.