Friday, June 13, 2014

This Summer, Play it Safe with an Ounce of Prevention!

Each June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month by sharing information about a variety of health and safety issues.  National Safety Month also coincides with the beginning of summer fun, sports, barbecues, gardening projects and more. If you are already on the alert for family vacation and driving safety, we salute your preparedness, but let’s not forget that most accidents happen in our homes.

Home safety covers a long list of potential threats such as slip and fall accidents on stairs and in the bathroom; kitchen injuries; fires and electrical hazards; prescription drug and chemical accidents; and swimming pool accidents. Let’s not overlook tornados, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes! 

“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.” Truer words were never spoken, especially when it comes to home safety for you and your family. The Energy Experts have some tips for keeping your home a safe place this summer:  

·         Chilling Out: Air conditioning is an essential home appliance in some parts of the country, while it’s really a luxury item in other areas. If you will be relying on your air conditioner this summer, arrange for some preventative maintenance in advance by contacting a qualified HVAC professional. If you don’t have air conditioning, use tried and true cooling solutions such as window fans, attic fans and ceiling fans. Also, avoid using heat generating appliances such as your washer, dryer and stove during the peak heat times of the day. Plan summer menus to keep your kitchen cool. Don’t forget that planting trees near your home can provide welcome shade during the hot summer months.

·         The Long Hot Summer: Stay hydrated at all times and be aware of the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The elderly should take added precautions to avoid exertion on hot summer days. Also, never leave children or pets in the car on a hot day.  Remember to apply sunscreen and always keep infants out of the direct sun. For those suffering from asthma, COPD and airborne allergies, air conditioning can really provide health benefits.

·         Let There Be Less Light: Keep your blinds down and curtains closed to minimize direct sunlight that generates heat inside your home. When the air temperature cools down in the evening, uncover the windows. Let’s not forget that incandescent light bulbs are also heat generators, so there’s one more reason to switch to energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Also, keep your home safe and energy efficient with indoor light timers and motion activated lights in your yard.

·         Holy Smokes: Don’t forget that smoke detectors are a year round safety precaution. Safety statistics reveal that half of home fire deaths occur in the bedroom when residents are asleep. Be sure to install smoke detectors within 10 feet of each bedroom and never ignore those annoying “beeps” letting you know that the battery needs to be changed. And while we are on the topic, be sure you have a fire extinguisher at the ready should there be a problem with a barbecue flare-up or fire pit mishap.

Each month our Energy Blog features information on energy efficiency and indoor air quality for your home. Here is a list of other recent Energy Blog articles that help you stay informed about health and safety issues in your home:

Air Filters vs. Air Purifiers:One Keeps You From Sneezing, The Other From Getting Sick


Chilling Out: Tips for Air Conditioner Efficiency

Save Energy. Save Money. Save a Life ...?

Children & Indoor Air Quality

Trees: Making you healthy& saving you money!