Have you ever thought about this? The "news" is simply a list of bad things that happened to people. I guess it's not all bad all the time but for the most part the "news" is simply a compilation of things going wrong. In some cases it's things going way wrong.

I hate hearing stories about how people had bad things happen in their homes. A lot of times a few dollars spent on batteries or a new lock and the outcome could have a different and total happy ending. Here are a couple of ways that you can make your home safer and not spend a lot of money.

The Lights: We all know that outside lights are great in the prevention of bad guys sneaking up to and into your home when you're gone. I suggest you use the lights when you're inside too. How many people are injured each year in falls, or by tripping or by banging a toe on furniture because they didn't turn a light on? The price you pay in electricity is minimal compared to the doctor bills you might pay. Just remember to turn the darn light off.

Accidental Poisoning: I was walking through the kitchen at my house and I noticed a delicious looking bottle of what appeared to be Diet Citrus Green Tea. The bottle was not shaped the way my normal bottle usually was and it did have a spray gun on top of it so I didn't drink it. DUH!

The fact is most house hold cleaners look more delicious than most children's drinks. If you are NOT putting that stuff in a locked cabinet every time you get through using it you might want to put poison control on your speed dial. The simple act of putting something back after you have used it could save the life of your child or some bleary-eyed disc jockey who just stumbled into your house because you didn't have outside lights on to scare him away.

Fires: It's probably not in your best interest to have one in your living room if you don't have a fireplace. That is advice that will keep your insurance rates low. I say that tongue in cheek because fire is one of the most deadly yet least respected bad things that can happen to you. Do you have a fire extinguisher? Does it actually work? Do you have any idea how to use it? Those might seem like elementary questions but I have been on the scene of a kitchen fire where the fire extinguisher was there but nobody had the slightest idea how to make it work. This moment of confusion sent a friend to the emergency room. Not because of a burn but because she shot the fire extinguisher chemicals  directly into her face.

Did you know walking away from the stove while food is cooking is one of the leading causes of fire? If you're going to cook, cook. Don't watch the TV, listen to the radio you won't burn your house down and your food will taste better.

Choking: Do you know that maneuver? You know the Heimlich maneuver where you stand behind a choking victim, squeeze them and the food  pops out of their mouth saving their life? I don't know it either, we better learn huh? Choking is a big problem with children and the Minnesota Vikings. Kids choke because adults didn't do a good job of surveying the plate before serving. The Vikings choke because they are a bunch of pouty whiny babies whose family traditions are rooted in temper tantrums.

Back to the kids, here is how you can tell if something is a choking hazard for a small child. Get a toilet paper tube, if the item can fit through it, it can kill your child. How easy was that test? Another thing you should do with kids around the house is make sure the chords on your blinds and curtains are tied up high so the little ones won't rip them off the wall or play "hang the bad guy". Kids do stuff like that all the time, then they grow up to be disc jockeys if they survive childhood but never reach maturity.

Sure these safety tips were presented with just a bit of whimsical humor but following them can help protect you and your family and keeping your family safe is a serious business with us. You can find a more serious approach to home safety at little or no cost by checking out this website and article at Divine Caroline. It's pretty simple stuff but it's stuff you have to actually do to reap the benefits. Be safe!

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