June is National Safety Month, and in part two of a four-part series of articles promoting that occasion, today we’re taking a look at the top seven causes of accidental death and injury and how to prevent them.
While fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are both things that our home security systems can help prevent, most of the things that caused accidental injury and death in the U.S. in 2014 are related to other factors. The things on the list tend to be much more mundane—only there’s nothing mundane about dying. We publish this list not to alarm you or give you the impression that danger is around every corner, but to simply help you take some common-sense precautions as you go about your daily life that will help keep an otherwise ordinary day from turning tragic.
The most common cause of accidental death in the U.S. is poisoning. While carbon monoxide poisoning would be included in this category, it is not a leading cause of poisoning deaths. By far, what is driving this category to the top of the list is accidental overdoses of prescription drugs, especially pain medication. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, learn how to get help here. For more information about other common causes of poisoning in the home, including household cleaning products falling into the hands of children, click here.
One of the leading causes of accidental injury and death is something that most of us do every day—driving. While you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road, there are things that you can do to reduce your chances of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. Chief among these is avoiding distractions such as cell phones or eating while driving. Also, avoid driving while sleepy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And of course, always wear a seatbelt.
For the most part, the people most at risk for fall-related deaths are the elderly. It’s the leading cause of death for those age 71 and over. Taking precautions like installing handrails in the home and using slip-resistant mats can help reduce the risk of falls. Also, use caution when completing home-improvement projects involving ladders.
Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4, mostly due to falling into pools or being left alone in bathtubs. These deaths are easily preventable—learn about precautions you can take here.
Fires and Burns
The bad news is that there were over 2,200 deaths from fires and burns in 2013. The good news is that having a working smoke detector in your home cuts your risk in this category by about 50%. Our home security systems include smoke detectors as an optional feature, and because they are monitored systems they will not only alert you to danger but will automatically summon help.
Although natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods make headlines, they actually cause relatively few deaths each year compared to the other things on this list. See our previous article about preparing a home emergency kit for your home for tips about how to reduce your risk in this area.
It’s important to point out that for most people, your chances of accidental death or injury are relatively low, and we don’t want to give you the impression that death is lurking at every turn. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take common-sense precautions like wearing a seatbelt or taking shelter in storms. While home security systems can’t protect you against every leading cause of accidental death, they can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. Contact us today for more information about these features of our security systems.