Don't cut safety short when reducing expenses

The Frugally Safe Home

by Veronica Bowman

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Avoiding Accidental Expenses

When you're striving for a frugal lifestyle and weighing out household expenditures, safety around the house is not an area where cutting corners pays off. Hospital statistics show that falls are the leading cause of accidents and injuries in and around the home. These accidents and injuries are not only physically painful, but also they can substantially affect your financial situation in terms of medical bills and an inability to work. Many times, these accidents could have been avoided if a few precautionary measures had been implemented.

Many of the safety precautions that reduce the risk of falls in the home are actually inexpensive or totally free measures. Because houses and lifestyles vary, the following list of suggested safety tips is not all inclusive, but it is a good starting point for increasing the safety level of your home and decreasing the risk of falls or injury.

  • Throw rugs have a tendency to live up to their name. You should remove all rugs that do not have a slip-proof backing. In situations where you simply can't part with your decorative but hazardous rugs, you should make the small investment necessary to purchase non-slip rug pads to place under your throw rugs.
  • Grab bars and non-slip tub and shower bottoms are not just for seniors or for people with physical challenges. They can be an excellent injury preventative for everyone.
  • Stumbling around in the dark has been the cause of many indoor falls. Nightlights are very inexpensive to purchase and will not make a noticeable difference in your power bill. Place a nightlight in the hallway, kitchen, bathroom, or any other area that you are likely to enter or walk though during the night.
  • Clutter is dangerous. A child's toy or a pet's toy that is left on the floor can easily cause someone to trip and fall. Magazines are dangerously slippery when stepped on. Clothing scattered on the floor is also a potential hazard.
  • Simply being aware of specific situations can decrease the danger level of your home. Wipe up spills immediately so that no one slips and falls. When you mop the floors, let everyone in the house know that the floors are wet. Keep mats at each door for wiping wet shoes and boots dry before walking across the room.
  • Electrical cords lying on or across the floor are a potential danger in the home. Zip ties are an inexpensive way to keep electrical cords under control so that someone's foot does not become entangled in them.
  • Whenever you need to reach an object on a top shelf, be sure to use a stepstool that is designed for that purpose. A stack of books or upside down trashcan is not a good option. Metal or wooden step stools can be found that cost less than $30. Medical bills from a fall and an injury would certainly be more expensive than that. Plus, you would have the issue of physical pain to deal with.

Not only is it wise to take measures to assure your safety inside of your home, you should also do whatever you can to reduce the risk of falls outside of your home.

  • Install pathway lighting if you have a walkway leading to the entrance of your home.
  • If you have steps or a ramp leading to your door, add handrails for extra safety.
  • Exterior steps and the surface of a ramp can be slippery when wet. Adding non-slip exterior tape to these areas is a justifiable expense even if the budget is tight.
  • Lawn and garden tools and equipment should be stored properly rather than left lying around.
  • Ladders should be sturdy. Adding some of the non-slip exterior tape to your ladder is a smart safety measure.

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Safety in and around your home should always be a priority even if some other area of the budget must temporarily be trimmed in order to make your home a safe place for everyone living and visiting there. No one wants to experience the pain and expense that comes from an injury, especially when the injury is a result of a potentially preventable accident.

Take the Next Step:

  • For more on home safety tips, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library .
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