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Understanding Safety in the Home

Is your home truly a safe haven? Have you thought about ways to make it safer? Take this quiz to learn about ways to make your home the safest place possible for you and your loved ones. The answers are at the end of this article.


  1. What is the number one cause of all deaths by poisoning?
    1. Rat poison
    2. Ant repellent
    3. Carbon monoxide
    4. None of the above
  2. With the exception of smoking, what is widely believed in the medical community to cause more lung cancer than anything else in the United States?
    1. Radon
    2. Asbestos
    3. Carbon monoxide
    4. None of the above
  3. The major causes of home fires are:
    1. Smoking
    2. Heating
    3. Children playing with fire
    4. All of the above
  4. What should you do if you are trapped in a house fire and waiting rescue?
    1. Open a window as soon as you can
    2. Crawl under the bed and wait
    3. Feel the doors for heat before opening them if you are trying to escape
    4. Run water into the bathtub and place wet clothing underneath the door
  5. What is the leading cause of injury visits to emergency departments in the United States?
    1. Falls
    2. Gunshot wounds
    3. Car accidents
    4. Home fires
  6. If you have children in the home, faucets should be controlled at what hot water level for safety?
    1. 120 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. 135 degrees Fahrenheit
    3. 150 degrees Fahrenheit
    4. None of the above

Keeping your home safe is not only important—it could be lifesaving. Talk to your family about fire safety and poison control, and print out some of the home safety checklists to keep handy. You can find some checklists at

In addition print out this poster called 14 Dangerous Things in This Picture to remind yourself of safety in your home.

Quiz Answers

  1. C. The National Center for Health Statistics says carbon monoxide is to blame for 3,500 accidental deaths and suicides each year in the United States alone. During 1999–2010, a total of 5,149 deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning occurred in the United States, an average of 430 deaths per year. The average annual death rate from carbon monoxide poisoning for males was more than three times higher than that for females. Tips on knowing the symptoms and how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. A. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005) estimates that household exposure to radon causes 5,000 to 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. The good news is that radon can easily be detected and reduced. There are both short-term and long-term measuring detectors available. The long-term devices that measure radon levels over months are the most reliable. Tips on knowing the symptoms and how to prevent radon poisoning.
  3. D. Other causes include electrical, heating and suspicious acts. (National Fire Protection Association, 2005) In 2015 there were 365,500 home fires with 43% of these fires starting in the kitchen. 78% of all fire deaths occur in homes. 3 out of 5 of these home fires did not have a working smoke alarm. Tips on how to make your home safer from fire.
  4. A, C, D. Open a window to escape or for fresh air while awaiting rescue. Even more preferable, if possible, open slightly the top AND bottom portions because smoke tends to draw out of the top, while fresh air comes through the bottom. If you touch a door before opening and it is HOT, do not open it. Placing wet clothing under the door if possible will keep the flames from spreading.  Tips on escaping a fire in your home.
  5. A. Most falls happen in and around the home. Many falls are caused by poor lighting and blocked walkways. (Home Safety Council, 2005) Each year, thousands of older Americans fall at home. Many of the same hazards that could cause falling for older adults can also cause falls with children or anyone.
  6. A. Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below to reduce the risk of burns and scalds from hot tap water. (Home Safety Council, 2005) . Learn more about How to Prevent Scalds at Home.