Staying Safe at Home over Winter

Sabrina Jillah
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According to RoSPA statistics, every year there are approximately 6000 deaths as a result of a home accident*. Quite a scary stat, as you would assume you’re safe at home.
To help prevent any accidents happening at home, we’ve come up with a few tips to keep safe this winter:

1)      With the heating on more often, it’s important to make sure your gas appliances and flues are maintained well. Get them checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Check smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and replace batteries if needed.

2)      If using electric heaters, make sure you switch them off before you go to bed. Similarly, never leave lit candles unattended and blow them out before you go to sleep. Switch off your Christmas lights at night.

3)      Wrap up warm – wear lots of thin layers rather than one thick layer. Cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are good for maintaining body heat. Older people are at more risk of hyperthermia, so homes should be at a minimum of 18C.

4)      Keep your home clutter free to prevent any falls – think about small furniture, electrical cords, pet bowls etc. Arrange furniture so there is plenty of room to walk freely, and keep stairs and hallways clear. 

5)      Slipping on rugs or on stairs can also cause falls, as well as slipping in the bath. Use non-slip rugs to prevent this, or put double-sided tape underneath the rug to attach it to the floor. Put non-slip strips on steps, and on the floor of your bathtub or shower.

6)      Keep safe outside your home too, especially if it has been snowing. Be prepared by having a bag of Rock Salt in storage. If it has snowed, clear it from your paths or driveway early in the day – it’s easier to move fresh, loose snow. Do not use water to melt the snow as it may refreeze and turn to black ice. Black ice is invisible and slippery so can cause falls. Instead, clear snow with a spade or shovel, and spread the rock salt on the area you have cleared - one tablespoon per square metre.

Brought to you by UNISONProtect who provide 50+ Accident Cover 


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