Safety in the Home
Escaping a Fire
The following tips are designed to help you escape injury and harm in the event that your home catches fire.
Plan Your Escape:
- Know exactly what to do and where to go in case of fire. Every second counts and having a plan can save you precious time in the event of a fire.
Know Two Ways Out
In an Apartment
In a One or Two-Story House
Make sure you can unlock and open all windows. If you are escaping from a second story, be sure you have a safe way to the ground. If you have difficulty with stairs, you may be better off sleeping in a first-floor bedroom.
If You are Trapped
Test the Door
- Carefully place your hand near the door. If hot, use your second way out. If not, brace your shoulder against the door and open it carefully, being ready to close it if heat or smoke rush in.
Get Down, Stay Low
A Few Other Suggestions to Protect Yourself
Disposal Tips for Sharp & Contaminated Materials
You can help prevent injury, illness and pollution by following some simple steps when you dispose of the sharp objects and contaminated materials used in administering health care in your home. You should place the following in a hard-plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid: Needles, Syringes, Lancets, Other Sharp Objects.
Many containers found in the household will do, or you may purchase containers specifically designed for the disposal of medical waste sharps. Before discarding a container be sure to reinforce the lid with heavy-duty tape. Do not put sharp objects in any container you plan to recycle or return to a store, and do not use glass or clear plastic containers. Finally, make sure that you keep all containers with sharp objects out of the reach of children and pets.
We also recommend that the following items be placed in securely fastened plastic bags before you put them in the garbage can (double bag) with your other trash: Soiled bandages, Disposable sheets, Medical gloves.
Hand washing is the single most important aspect of infection control. Always wash your hands before and after touching wounds, anytime your hands are visibly soiled and after touching sources that are likely to be contaminated with micro organisms. Hand washing is essential before and after eating, drinking, smoking and using the restroom facilities.
Recent research indicates waterless hand cleaners are as effective or more effective than soap and water. HomeCare team members are encouraged to use waterless hand cleaners.
If you are sick or have trouble getting around, you may be more apt to fall. Falls are a major cause of broken hips and other severe injuries. When it comes to falls, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
To prevent falls:
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles. Do not walk in only your socks or in slippers with slippery bottoms.
- Do not wear clothes that are too loose or long. You might trip on them.
- When getting out of bed or out of an easy chair, get up slowly. Dangle your legs first. Give your body a chance to adjust to the new position.
- If you feel dizzy, immediately sit or lay down. Get yourself into a safe position.
- Lock wheelchairs before getting in and out.
- Use your walker or cane as recommended by your doctor or therapist.
- Use sturdy chairs with arms so you can balance yourself while getting up and down.
- Do not climb on chairs or boxes.
- Be sure you are stable before you reach or bend.
- Strategically place furniture for support.
- Use side rails on bed.
- Know medications that may impair mobility.
To prevent falls in the dark:
- Keep a nightlight on in hallways, in the bedroom and in the bathroom.
- Keep a light close to your bed and turn it on before getting out of bed in the dark.
- Turn on lights before going into a dark room.
- Make sure stairs are well-lighted and the edges of each stair can be easily seen.
To prevent falls in the bathroom:
- Put a rubber bath mat or non slip strips in your bath or shower.
- Use a shower bench and a removable shower head with an extension hose.
- Buy soap on a rope so it will not slip from your hands.
- Step onto rubber-backed floor mats after a bath or shower to prevent slips.
- After a bath, sit on the commode or a chair to dry yourself.
- Install grab bars by the bath shower and by the commode.
- Obtain a raised toilet seat for the commode.
To prevent falls while walking:
- Lift feet when walking.
- Be sure railings on staircases are sturdy.
- Keep walking areas clear of cords or things that could cause you to trip.
- Remove all throw rugs so you do not slip on them.
- Repair uneven floor surfaces, such as warped floorboards. Tack down carpet edges and flatten carpet buckles so you do not trip on them.
- Wipe up any spills right away.
- Do not wax floors. Waxing can make floors too slippery. It can also cause glare, making it hard
- Watch thresholds at doorways.
To prevent falls on stairs:
- Install and check hand rails.
- Keep clear of clutter or obstacles.
- Have adequate lighting.
- Use non-skid treads on steps.