If you’re like me, you have no muscle memories of the apartment you’ve lived in for five years and thus find your body banging itself up against a corner like it popped out of nowhere. Sigh, bruises. But you don’t have to live like that — your home should be a place of rest and relaxation, not a horror house of accidents waiting to happen.
I have no advice for the MBQs of the world beyond trying to watch where you’re walking, goshdarnit, this is your own home. But LifeHacker does have a pretty nice roundup of a bunch of things you can do to guard against accidents in the home. We’ve collected a bunch of our favorites below and you can check out LifeHacker for more safety lessons.
1. Keep your knives sharp (and your wits sharper!), because a dull knife is way more dangerous than one that’s slicing, dicing and cutting properly. Make sure you know how to use them an aren’t just hacking at a pork roast with say, a cerrated bread knife.
2. A cutting board will stay put better with a damp towel, shelf liner or other non-slippy material under it.
3. Make sure pan handles on the stove face inward to keep them from little hands and also so you don’t bump it accidentally and knock it over.
4. Know how to put out a kitchen fire — hint: Don’t throw water on it.
5. MBQ’s own tip: Wear shoes when you’re cooking — it’s a lot more protection against any falling knives or splashy hot liquids. Once you dump a pot of boiling water on your bare feet you’ll never forget this rule.
6. Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas lest you snag one and trip.
7. Small throw rugs are basically lying in wait for you to stumble over them. Ditch’em all or use non-skid mats. Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping
8. Once you’re done joking about Captain Obvious, don’t stand on a chair, table or anything with wheels. Wheels have a tendency to roll.
9. The CDC says poisoning is among the top 10 leading causes of ER visits for nonfatal injuries, and it isn’t just kids accidentally chugging cough syrup. Some prescription meds and over-the-counter meds can negatively interact with other medicines or foods, so check with your pharmacist before combining anything. And keep everything clearly labeled in their original containers — that handful of mismatched pills you found in the sock drawer could be just about anything. Post this somewhere you can see it: U.S. Poison Control Center — 800-222-1222.
Moving Heavy Stuff
10. How many times have you heard to lift with your knees and not your back? It’s true. Shimmy up to whatever you’re moving, as close as you can, and flex your knees to lift it. Keep your back straight and move your feet instead of wiggling all around with your back if you need to turn.
11. Slip and slide that thing somewhere easily by turning a bit of carpet remnant upside down on hard floors. That way you can move your heavy thing over the floors without scratching them. Blankets and newspapers work as well.
12. Find a friend if something’s too heavy — if you can’t lift a corner very easily, you need a buddy.
DIY and Landscaping
13. Above all else, don’t start on something if it’s high risk, including electrical work or doing stuff around gas pipes.
14. Even if the engine is off, do not stick your hand in to get something out of a blade. The blade could be under tension and snap forward anyway, and there goes your favorite right hand.
15. Just like knives, keep your tools sharp for maximum effectiveness and minimum ouchiness.
16. Don’t use power tools in the rain. Water and electricity do not mix.