Safety expert Dan Hannan says there are more dangers than people realize lurking in their houses. He offers valuable tips on how to avoid trouble at home. How serious a problem are home accidents? Almost half of accidental deaths occur at home. The top causes are poison, falls, electric shocks, and fires. Home accidents are responsible for more than 3 million injuries, including about 55,000 fatal injuries, nationwide every year. That’s more fatalities than from workplace and automobile accidents combined. In his book Preventing Home Accidents Dan talks about the “ABCs” of how a home accident occurs. “A” is the activator, the event that starts you on the path to an accident, say an argument with a family member, lack of sleep, or talking on your cell phone. “B” is the behavior, the event that occurs because of A, and “C” is the consequence of that behavior, namely the accident. An example would be you have an argument with your spouse, you then go into your garage to build a cabinet. When you’ve had the activator, the argument, you’re not mentally on task, so maybe you don’t check to see if the saw guard is in place. That behavior, that failure to make proper decisions, results in an accident, one that could be fatal. Before starting a task, everyone should go through a simple hazard analysis. Think about the steps involved in your task and identify potential hazards. If you are going to clean out the gutters, what are the steps involved? Take a look at the ladder: Make sure it is working properly. When placing it against the house, make sure you have proper footing, it’s leaning at the proper angle, it’s tall enough that you can reach safely. It only takes a couple of extra moments to break down the task to insure safety. Sounds like common sense. Why don’t more people do it? If you do something dangerous and you don’t get hurt, you’re going to keep doing it that way, probably until something bad does happen. Being safe is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.