Home Safety Guide
Yes, it’s true, independent living can pose challenges. How you prepare for these challenges is what makes the difference. We congratulate you and thank you for your order. Getting a Personal Emergency Response System is a great first step. Next, take the time to periodically safeguard your loved one’s home. Taking proactive safety steps cannot only reduce injuries but can also ultimately save lives. We strongly urge you to use this guide to regularly evaluate the surroundings of a loved one's home. Set up a routine that you will both be comfortable with and it will save you plenty of time and energy in the long run. At Doyle Security Systems, we care for your safety and are always ready to respond to your every need. Thanks again.
TELEPHONES / EMERGENCIES
- Make sure the ringer is amplified in the living area. For the extreme hard of hearing, visual signals (strobes) can be installed.
- Always wear your pendant.
- Keep your contact list with us updated.
- Push your alarm whenever you sense a problem.
ELECTRICAL OUTLETS and SWITCHES
- They should not be unusually warm or hot to the touch.
- Do all outlets and switches have cover plates?
- Light bulbs - Make sure they are the appropriate size and type for the lamp or fixture.
ELECTRICAL and PHONE CORDS
- Lamp, extension, and telephone cords should be placed out of the flow of traffic.
- Remove any cords from beneath furniture, rugs or carpeting.
- No cords attached with nails or staples.
- Are electrical cords in good condition?
- Make sure extension cords do not carry more than their proper load as indicated by the ratings labeled on the cord and the appliance.
RUGS, RUNNERS and MATS
- Make sure all small rugs and runners are slip-resistant.
- Secure runners and keep free of moisture if near entry.
- Shelves should be well secured and not overloaded with items that have a potential of falling.
- Make sure the lighting at night is sufficient for easy navigation.
- Again, if they have trouble hearing, a visual signal can be installed.
SMOKE / CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each floor.
(Doyle Security can provide and / or monitor these services as well)
- These are a bad idea but if you must, make sure that any 3-prong plug models are being used in a 3-hole outlet or with a properly attached adapter.
- Small stoves and heaters should be placed where they cannot be knocked over, away from furnishings and flammable materials and not near curtains or rugs.
- If your home has space heating equipment, such as a kerosene heater, a gas heater or an LP gas heater, you understand the installation and operating instructions thoroughly.
EMERGENCY EXIT PLAN
- Make sure your loved one has both an emergency exit plan and a back up plan in the event the first route is impassable.
- Practice your plan periodically.
- Make sure any wood burning equipment is installed properly and free of debris before using.
- Have the chimney or stack cleaned periodically.
- Hallways and passageways should be well lit and free of boxes or clutter.
- Keep towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire away from the range.
- Store flammable and combustible items away from range and oven. Remove any towels hanging on oven handles.
- Make sure the kitchen ventilation system is functioning properly.
- All extension cords and appliance cords should be located away from the sink and range areas.
- Make sure the lighting is good over the stove, sink, and work areas. If a step stool is present, check it for stability.
- Check foods in the refrigerator for freshness dates.
- Periodically go through everything in the freezer and throw away all outdated foods.
- Make sure to defrost the freezer when necessary.
- Bathtubs and showers should be equipped with non-skid mats, abrasive strips, or surfaces that are not slippery.
- Add a bath or shower seat if your loved one is frail or unstable when standing.
- Bathtubs, showers, and toilet areas should each have at least one, (preferably two) grab bars.
- Check existing bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.
- An over-the-toilet commode or raised toilet seat can make it easier for older people to get on and off the toilet.
- The water temperature should be no higher than 120 degrees.
- Check the bathroom for proper night and daytime lighting.
- Consider replacing the existing switch with a "glow switch" that can be seen in the dark.
- Make sure small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, shavers, curling irons, etc. are unplugged when not in use.
- Install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in your bathroom outlet to protect against electric shock.
- Medications should be stored in the containers that they came in and clearly marked.
- Dispose of outdated medicines properly.
- Request non-child-resistant caps from the pharmacist if your loved one cannot use child-resistant caps.
- Use a pill dispenser if they take several medications daily.
- In homes where grandchildren or other youngsters are frequent visitors, medicines should be purchased in containers with child-resistant caps, and the caps properly closed after each use.
- Always store medicines beyond the reach of children.
- Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of each bed.
- Install night-lights.
- Ashtrays, smoking materials, or other heat sources (heaters, hot plates, teapots, etc.) should be
- located away from beds and bedding materials.
- Electric blankets should be used correctly.
- Place a working flashlight close to your bed and check batteries periodically.
- Place a telephone close to your loved one's bed.
- Never fall asleep with a heating pad turned on.
BASEMENT / GARAGE
- In the basement, garage, workshop and storage areas, check fuse boxes or circuit breakers.
All flammable liquids should be properly stored.
- Make sure all work areas, passageways are well lit and free of clutter.
- Make sure lights can be turned on without first having to walk through a dark area.
- Have a flashlight handy.
- Keep aisle ways free of clutter.
- Discard or donate unneeded items that just take up space, if they haven’t touched it in 5 years,
- chances are they never will. Check with them before discarding anything.
FLAMMABLE and VOLATILE LIQUIDS
- All containers of volatile liquids should be tightly capped.
- Gasoline, paints, solvents, or other products that give off vapors or fumes must be stored away from ignition sources.
STEPS AND STAIRWAYS
- All steps and stairs should be in good condition with smooth, safe surfaces.
- All stairways should be well lighted and free of clutter.
- Light switches should be located at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Dual handrails should be installed on all stairways.
- Install night-lights at nearby outlets.
- Make sure the carpet is firmly attached to the steps all along the stairs.