Household emergencies can occur at any time.  When disaster strikes, knowing how to proceed effectively can make a world of difference and potentially save lives. Fortunately it’s easy to prevent or reduce a wide range of household dangers by embracing some simple safety measures.

Accidental falls:  Falls can be prevented by removing tripping hazards, installing steady handrails and other supports and adding lighting in and around a home. If a fall should occur, stabilize the limb or injured area of the body and seek medical assistance.

Kitchen fires: The potential for danger exists whenever cooking with heat or over open flames. Kitchen fires may occur, but they don’t have to spread or cause serious issues if fast action is taken. Never use water to put out a grease fire, it will only spread it and make it worse. Cover the fire with a lid to suffocate the flames, or use baking soda to douse the fire.  Always have an all-purpose fire extinguisher on hand, and know how to operate it.

Tipping furniture: Tip-over incidents send thousands of people (especially young children) to emergency

rooms each year. Top-heavy items, like dressers, TV stands and televisions, bureaus, and bookcases should be anchored to the wall.

Unintentional poisoning: People may inadvertently consume household poisons. Call 9-1-1 if the victim is unconscious or not breathing. If the person is alert, consult with the the Ontario Poison Centre at 1-800-268-9017 and await instructions. Keep the bottle or packaging of the assumed poison on hand and be prepared to discuss symptoms and personal information about the victim.

Fire or other danger: No one ever thinks an emergency situation necessitating escape from the home will take place. But to play it safe, residents should designate emergency exits that are the quickest and safest ways out of every room in the house. Practice this plan and pick a specific meeting spot outside.

Safety at home involves knowing how to act fast in an emergency and how to reduce your risk of being in potentially dangerous situations.