According to the National Safety Council, the number-one cause of accidental death in America is poisoning, typically by unintentional drug overdose of prescription drugs.1 This has come about, at least in part, due to over-prescribing of painkillers.
Of all the home safety tips you can implement, this could be the one that saves your life or the life of someone you know: it’s very easy to accidentally overdose on prescription opioids. They cause drowsiness, confusion, and cravings for more of the medication. Protect your family by employing these tips:
- Be careful with your prescription medication. Use a pill case with a timer, or ask a family member to help you with timing your doses.
- Be aware that burglars are looking for these drugs. If you take opioid pain medication—or any medication—don’t dispose of the empty bottles in the trash or recycling. Instead, bring them to a pharmacy that offers pill bottle recycling.
- Don’t mention that you are on medication in front of people you don’t know. When you are at the park with your kids or in the waiting room at your doctor’s office or even at the pharmacy, don’t share your medical situation with anyone.
We live in a wired world where many people share a lot of information on social media sites and, unwittingly, other parts of the web. Even if your profiles are protected, any hacker worth a grain of salt can get to them. Keep these online safety tips in mind:
- Don’t share information that could compromise your safety. That means don’t advertise that you are going on vacation or to the hospital for a long stay.
- Never use “out of office replies” on your personal email accounts. Anyone could send you an email to easily find out that you are out of town—and how long you’ll be absent.
- Turn off geo-tagging on your cellphone camera. If you post an item for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or a similar site, a savvy burglar with a free geo-tag reader will know the exact location of that boat or car or piece of jewelry you’re selling and may come to get it.
Lots of home security tips cover the importance of reliable locks on your doors and windows, but when did you last check yours? All locks should be sturdy and well maintained if you want them to do their job well. Even the best locks won’t do much if they’re not used, though, so try to make a habit of locking every window and door in your home—plus garage doors and storm doors, if you have them—every day.
One of the best home safety tips is this: fatality risk can be cut in half if you have a working fire alarm.2 To further decrease your risk, replace your tea lights, tapers, and scented candles with LED faux candles. They look real and are available in various sizes and scents. And, if they fall over, there is no flame to endanger you and your loved ones.
Home security systems have come a long way in the past few years, and the exciting part is that you can start by installing a $20 window alarm on your own. Full DIY systems are available for less than $250. DIY is not the only option, either. There are many excellent choices, both monitored and unmonitored, so the process of safeguarding your home can be personal and empowering for you and your family.