Aug. 24-30 is National Be Safe At Home Week, a time to remind ourselves about safety in the home.
When we think of safety in the home, probably one of the first things we think about is fire safety.
So how can we be safe (or safer) when it comes to the threat of fire in the home?
Well, first of all, everyone should have smoke detectors in the home. Iowa law requires that every home have at least one smoke detector, but is that enough? It's probably a good idea to make sure there's a smoke detector in every bedroom and in areas subject to higher rates of fire - such as the kitchen.
Everyone should have an escape plan too. That means two means of egress in every room, if possible, and windows that allow a person to exit in an emergency. If a bedroom is on up upper level, there should be a rope ladder or other means of exiting the room.
Every family member should also know the 'safe place' where everyone can meet outdoors. That way, the whole family can rest assured that everyone's in a safe place.
Household chemicals can be another worry. Any cabinet containing caustic or poisonous cleaning products and that's at toddler level should be padlocked or else the products should be located out of reach of the child.
The same goes for prescription drugs. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem among teens, and the best way to prevent it is to keep those pharmaceuticals under lock and key - where they belong. The same goes for tobacco and alcohol - there's no sense in giving kids access to something they'll encounter soon enough anyway.
It's still grilling season. And that grill is in a safe place, right? Or is it in a screened-in patio. That would be the WRONG place and could lead to asphyxiation.
If you have toddlers, do you know where they're at when you're entering or leaving your driveway? It's best to always assume they're playing in front of or behind your vehicle - and to get out and check for sure.
A little extra caution can help ensure a safer home - and prevent tragedy.