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Can you stay safe in an unfamiliar home during the holiday break?

The National Safety Council (NSC) considers accidental injuries inside homes to be one of the most dangerous obstacles people face in life. Statistically, one person is injured in a home accident every four seconds -- and a death will occur roughly once per 16 minutes!

People are more likely to have an accident in unfamiliar surrounding -- which means that if you're staying with friends or relatives this holiday season, you're more at risk of an accident than you would be if you were at your own home.

Here are some simple safety tips you should use when staying in an unfamiliar house:

1. Take time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the house in daylight. Keep your eyes on the ground and look for loose rugs, carpet pulls and small holes in the carpet that you can catch a heel on and try to remember their location so you can avoid them.

2. If the homeowner has pets, keep that in mind when you're walking around the home. Watch out of for bones and fake mice -- both of which are easy to trip on.

3. Ask your host to show you how to work the shower -- don't guess! A scald can be a serious and painful injury that takes a long while to heal. You need to know how to adjust the water temp before you step into the shower.

4. Carry a flashlight, penlight or use the light on your phone when you move around the house at night looking for a snack or the bathroom to avoid tripping on a cat, dog, a toy or somebody dozing in a sleeping bag.

5. If you have young children, make certain that the hosts think to put any medications, including vitamins, up and out of reach. People who don't have children around regularly often don't realize how hazardous those drugs can be.

6. Check the house for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If they're missing, consider making them an impromptu holiday gift -- for everyone's safety!

While it's hard to contemplate, if you're injured in an accident or someone in your immediate family dies due to the homeowner's negligence, you'd be wise to discuss your legal options. A personal injury or wrongful death claim may be appropriate.

Source: Home & Garden, "What's the most dangerous room in the house?," Emilie Sennebogen, accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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