The need for safety has always been one of humanity’s driving forces. The problem is that, while looking for possible threats in the world that surrounds us, we often fail to notice dangers in front of our eyes. One of the best examples could be our homes where we traditionally feel the safest, and yet, 18,000 Americans die every year from injuries that take place at home. Let’s see how can we change this grim statistic and turn our homes into safe oases they ought to be.

Household fires

Fires are one of the most common causes of household injuries and fatalities. In the case of emergency, you should check if the problem caused by an appliance and immediately unplug the power. Now, you will be able to use a Class A (water-based) extinguisher. However, if the fire continues to spread, immediately evacuate your family and leave the job to the fire department. Also, don’t try to remove any objects already in flame outside. You will do more harm than good.

Security emergencies

In this case, making an escape to a safe room should be your prime option. If you don’t have one, you can use the siren feature of a bullhorn to try to scare the intruders away. However, the only proper way to deal with this situation is through prevention. The mere presence of a security system in your house will go a long way in discouraging burglars from even attempting a break-in, and a good old “Beware of the dog” sign can only reinforce this effect.

Electrical emergencies

The matter of electrical accidents should be taken very seriously. Some countries as Australia go as far as to mandate that all electrical repairs and installations are performed by professionals. It would be a good idea that you treat short circuits in the same manner and immediately call a professional emergency electrician for help. While you are waiting, you should try to turn off the main breaker and separate the injured person from the current with a non-conductive object.

Plumbing issues

Plumbing problems can be identified very early by stains on the walls and the strong odor from the sewage. If you still end up flooded, immediately shut off the main water valve and the main circuit box in the contaminated area. The rest of the intervention will largely depend on what’s causing the flood. If you are dealing with clogged drains, you can quickly solve the issue with a plumbing snake. Unfortunately, broken pipes and other “structural” problems will require a help from a professional.

Poisoning safety

The key to dealing with poison emergencies is in the proper identification of the poisoning. Some of the symptoms you should pay attention to are:

  • Redness around the lips
  • Breath that smells like chemicals
  • Difficult breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Altered mental status
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness

If you have any suspicions regarding these symptoms immediately call Poison Help (800-222-1222) for advice. You can also try to remove any dangerous materials remaining in the person’s mouth, gently flush the eyes with lukewarm water and get the poisoned person in fresh air.

Injuries caused by falls

Falls are amongst the most common reasons why people find themselves in injury rooms. The injured one should be moved from the place of the accident only if it's facing an imminent danger or his/her injuries are not serious. What you should do instead is to immediately call 911, check the family member for visible wounds, clean them, and apply an ice pack on the injured area (the ice should be dressed in a clean cloth).

Natural gas

If you, by any chance, notice the strong smell of gas, you should shut off the main gas valve, open the window, and don’t turn on any electrical switches until the problem is solved. As for concrete measures, there is very little you can do. Natural gas is heavier than air, so you’ll need to leave the home and report the emergency from the neighbor’s house. These seven tips should help you address some of the most common emergencies that can arise in your house. However, the best way to fight problems is not to allow them to occur at all. Put some effort in prevention and your family will finally see their home as the safe heaven they deserve.

About the Author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger, DIY enthusiast and sustainability buff from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor on several interior design, real estate and eco blogs, always on the lookout for new ideas and the latest trends in these fields