Safety Tips

Every room in the house poses unique dangers and hazards

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep fire extinguisher, baking soda and pan top near stove to put out fire. Never pour water on a grease fire!
  • Cook using back burners, turn handles inward, and teach child oven is hot when light is on.
  • Don’t allow child to play on floor by the stove when you’re cooking.
  • Restrict dishwasher access: sharp utensils, poisonous detergent, sharp edges, climbing hazard.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Lock knives in drawer, don’t leave in block on counter.
  • Don’t forget to lock away vegetable peelers, grapefruit spoons, apple corers, and other sharp and potentially dangerous kitchen tools.
  • Keep garbage container lid closed and locked away.
  • Remove tablecloths, child could pull hot liquid, food on them.
  • Make sure magnets on refrigerator are not small enough to become a choking hazard.
  • Never leave buckets of water on the floor where your child could fall in head first and drown.
  • Store plastic bags and boxes of plastic wrap (serrated edges) out of reach, along with anything else that might be breakable, pose a strangulation or suffocation risk.

Bathroom Safety

  • Never leave your child alone in the bathtub!
  • Keep hair dryers, electric shavers and curling irons put away. Your child could yank on cord, bringing it crashing on his head, they also pose a strangulation and electrocution hazard.
  • Keep first aid kit and book as well as activated charcoal on hand.
  • Make sure outlets near water are GFCI.
  • Keep child away from cosmetics, perfumes, mouthwash, cleaning products and medications with drawer and cabinet latches.
  • Check trashcan for hazards, especially when guests visit, get trashcans with lids.
  • Use soft covers over faucets to protect little heads and use non-skid bath mats that cover the entire bottom of tub.
  • Set water heater <120 degrees or lower to prevent scalding.
  • Install toilet lid lock-toddlers just starting to pull themselves up are at the greatest risk of falling into the toilet and drowning.
  • Dispose of used razors, unused medication and other garbage in a safe place outside of bathroom.

Nursery Safety

  • Install spring-loaded toy box support for lid and make sure there are ventilation holes. Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
  • Never put wall hangings over crib, if your child pulls down, it could become a smothering hazard, as well as a choking hazard if the nail comes out of the wall.
  • Always put baby to sleep on back or side, never on adult bed (especially water bed).
  • Keep plush toys, quilts and comforters out of crib.
  • Mobile strings should be no longer than 6 in., remove when child is 5-7 months old or can push up.
  • When your child is 35 inches tall, move to a bed

Bedroom Safety

  • Never put your child to sleep on an adult bed, especially a water bed.
  • Remove dry-cleaning bags from clothes before you hang them in closet.

Laundry Room Safety

  • Off limits, restrict with gate, automatic door closer, cabinet and drawer latches and a door lock.

Garage Safety

  • Replace automatic garage door with one that has sensing device.
  • Restrict access with door lock, automatic door closer.

Fire & Electrical Safety

Call the Austin Fire Department Prevention Hotline (512) 448-8309 for additional information.

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, in the kitchen and outside each sleeping area. Test them once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Keep fire extinguisher handy on each floor of your house and know how to use them. An A-B-C type fire extinguisher contains chemicals that extinguish wood, flammable substances such as grease and oil, plus electrical equipment.
  • Have a family escape plan and practice it often. Decide on two emergency exits from each room. If children are young, decide in advance who will be responsible for getting them out of the house. Designate a meeting place outside of your home.
  • If you live in a 2-story home, make sure you have a fire escape ladder, practice evacuating from your home.
  • Store flammables (paint, paint thinner, kerosene) outside of home in shed.
  • Don’t overload outlets. If appliance is not in use, unplug it.
  • Careless cooking is the #1 cause of household fires. If cooking oil catches fire, slide a close-fitting lid or larger pan over the pan to smother the flames, then turn burner off. Use baking soda to put fire out, never throw flour or water on a grease fire. Keep stove and oven clean because built-up grease and food particles are easily ignited.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Install a carbon Monoxide detector on each floor of your home.
  • Inspect flues and chimneys for cracks, corrosion, holes, debris or blockages.

Poison Prevention

Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222

  • Remove toxic plants from home and find out if yard plants are harmful.
  • Move harmful agents to upper cabinets and lock up. Always keep cleaning products in their original containers. This way you can tell Poison Control what your child drank or ingested.
  • Don’t tell your child medicine tastes like candy!