Check All Chords Are lamp, extension and telephone cords placed outside the flow of traffic? *
Cords stretched across walkways may cause someone to trip.
Are cords pulled out from beneath furniture and rugs or carpeting? *
Furniture resting on cords can damage them, creating fire and shock hazards. Electric cords which run under carpeting may cause a fire.
Are cords attached to the walls, baseboards, etc., with nails or staples? *
Nails and staples can damage cords, presenting fire and shock hazards.
Are electrical cords in good condition, and not frayed or cracked? *
Damaged cords may cause a shock or fire.
Do extension cords carry more than their proper load, as indicated by the ratings labeled on the cord and the appliance? *
Overloaded extension cords may cause fires. Standard 18-gauge extension cords can carry 1,250 watts.
CHECK ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND SWITCHES Are any outlets or switches unusually warm or hot to the touch? *
Unusually warm or hot outlets or switches may indicate that an unsafe wiring condition exists.
Do all outlets and switches have cover plates, so that no wiring is exposed? *
Exposed wiring presents a shock hazard.
CHECK SPACE HEATERS Are heaters which come with a three-prong plug being used in a three-hole outlet or with a properly attached adapter? *
The grounding feature provided by a three-hole receptacle or an adapter for a two-hole receptacle is a safety feature designed to lessen the risk of shock.
Are small stoves and heaters placed where they cannot be knocked over, and away from furnishings and flammable materials, such as curtains and rugs? *
Heaters can cause fires or serious burns if they cause you to trip or if they are knocked over.
If your home has space heating equipment, such as a kerosene heater, a gas heater, or an LP gas heater, do you understand the installation and operating instructions thoroughly? *
Unvented heaters should be used with the room door open or a window slightly open to provide ventilation. The correct fuel, as recommended by the manufacturer, should always be used. Vented heaters should have proper venting, and the venting system should be checked frequently. Improper venting is the most frequent cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, and older consumers are at particular risk.
Is woodburning equipment installed properly? *
Woodburning stoves should be installed by a qualified person, according to local building codes.
CHECK ALL RUGS, RUNNERS AND MATS Are all small rugs and runners slip-resistant? *
The CPSC estimates that in 1982, over 2,500 people 65 and over were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries that resulted from tripping over rugs and runners. Falls are also the most common cause of fatal injury for older people.
AIR QUALITY DETECTORS AND NOTIFICATIONS Are smoke detectors properly located? *
At least one smoke detector should be placed on every floor of the home, should have good batteries, and should notify residents and others that the batteries need replacing.
Are your smoke detectors automatically notifying others (WiFi enabled)? *
Automatic notification of others when smoke detectors detect smoke ensures that sleeping seniors are safe.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS Are emergency numbers posted on or near the telephone? *
In case of emergency, telephone numbers for the police, fire department, and the local poison control center, along with a neighbor's number, should be readily available.
Are all prescriptions being consumed listed with dosage and frequency in an easily accessible place? *
In case of emergencies, it is critical to have prescriptions being taken easily available. Senior falls and drug reactions are a major risk area.
Do you have an emergency exit plan that has been practiced and is documented in case of fire, flooding, or other emergency exit reasons? *
In cases of emergency there is very little time to act. Since you may not have much time to get out and there may be a lot of confusion, it is important that everyone knows what to do and has practiced it.
In the kitchen, check the range area, all electrical cords, lighting, the stool, all throw rugs and mats, and the telephone area.
Are towels, curtains, and other things that might catch fire located away from the range? *
Placing or storing non-cooking equipment, such as potholders, dish towels, and plastic utensils on or near the range may result in fires or burns.
Do you wear clothing with short or close-fitting sleeves while you are cooking? *
The CPSC estimates that 70% of all people who die from clothing fires are over 65 years of age. Long sleeves are more likely to catch fire than are short sleeves. Long sleeves are also more apt to catch on pot handles, overturning pots and pans and causing scalds.
Are all extension cords and appliance cords located away from the sink and range areas? *
Electrical appliances and power cords can cause shock or electrocution if they come in contact with water. Cords can also be damaged by excess heat.
Does adequate lighting exist over the stove, sink and countertop work areas, especially where food is sliced? *
Low lighting and glare can contribute to burns and cuts.
Do you have a step stool which is stable and in good repair? *
Standing on chairs, boxes or other makeshift items to reach high shelves can result in falls. The CPSC estimates that in 1982, 1,500 people over 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms when they fell from chairs on which they were standing.
Are dishes rearrange for easier access and less reach? *
Avoid using stools and standing on anything that require balance where you might get injured.
Are utensils easy grip? *
Easy grip utensils can help avoid injuries due to slipping such as cuts and bruises.
Are door handles lever handles? *
Make opening and closing doors easier.
Have you replaced appliance knobs with easy grip knobs? * Are cabinet handles and drawer pulls easy to grasp? * Is the water temperature less than 120 degrees (warm to the touch)? *
Avoid scalding the thin skin of seniors.
LIVING/FAMILY ROOM Are chimneys clear from accumulations of leaves, and other debris that can clog them? *
A clogged chimney can cause a poorly-burning fire to result in poisonous fumes and smoke coming back into the house.
Has the chimney been cleaned within the past year? *
Burning wood can cause a build up of creosote inside the chimney. This tar-like material can ignite and result in a serious chimney fire.
Has the furniture been rearranged to open a walk area? * Have risers been added to furniture? *
Seniors have a hard time sitting down and getting up from low chairs and couches.
Are outlets available at a height that is easily accessible? *
Seniors have a hard time bending over and getting up. Make their life easier by providing access to outlets without discomfort.
Has all the clutter in the living area been removed? *
A clutter free environment lowers the risk of tripping.
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