Spring cleaning health and safety tips

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Friday, April 29th, 2016
Community
Each year in Northern Ireland more than 70 people die in home accidents and almost 70,000 visit their local accident and emergency departments seeking help as a result of accidents in the home. Spring Cleaning Just Ahead Green Road Sign and CloudsWhile most people’s spring cleaning to-do lists have more to do with mops and brooms than safety precautions, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are urging people to take steps to improve home safety when carrying out the spring clean. Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the PHA, said, “More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, so this year we are calling on people to consider adding a few tasks to the spring cleaning regimen that are aimed at keeping your home not only tidy but also safe and healthy.” To help you on your way, the PHA has compiled a list of tips to consider when you’re doing your annual clean up. Helpful tips: • Examine every blind in your home. If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available. • Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children. • Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb. • When cleaning out kitchen cupboards and cabinets it is also important to put household cleaners and medicines away to avoid accidental poisoning or chemical burns. Make sure they are out of the sight and reach of children in a locked or high-level cupboard and clean up any spills. • Check that televisions, chests of drawers and shelving units are securely anchored to the wall as bulky, heavy furniture can seriously injure or even kill a small child if it falls on top of them. • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors • If carrying out any DIY, avoid falls from height by checking a ladder’s condition before use • Stop and disconnect all electrical appliances and tools before repairing or cleaning them; only use tools/materials/products in accordance with their instructions • Always supervise children, especially when power tools and lawnmowers are being used, and tidy up all equipment straight after the job is done.
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Mid April 2016Sheila Merrill, Public Health Adviser at RoSPA, said, “Spring cleaning is a wonderful time for families to spend together and often when they start to do some home improvement or gardening. “While spring cleaning may sound harmless, many of the chores that people will be doing can lead to trips, slips and falls, it is also, unfortunately, a time when A&Es usually see a rise in DIY and gardening injuries. So it is important for people to take the time out to make sure that they think about their safety. She added, “It’s also a good time to remind everyone to reduce the risk of preventable accidents and to take steps to make the home environment as safe as possible.”

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