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The Stepping Strong Injury Prevention Program (SSIPP) has compiled a list of resources to help mitigate the risk and severity of traumatic injuries and keep you and your loved ones safe.

Smoke Alarm

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In 2021, there were 353,500 residential fires in the United States that caused more than 14,000 traumatic injuries or deaths. Read more below about how to keep your home protected with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Maintenance Tips

Combined smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are available. The following tips can be applied to individual smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Test batteries once per month
  • Replace all detectors (battery operated and hard wired) every 10 years
  • At the change of Daylight Saving Time (March and November), test and change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have long life detectors, the batteries are expected to last 10 years, meaning you can test and change less frequently.


Drowning Prevention

Drowning is a global public health issue that is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in the United States. Swimming lessons can be taught at any age and keep you protected in pools, oceans, lakes, ponds, and more. Read more below about water safety tips and available resources.

Tips to Stay Safe in the Water

  • Learn how to swim
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Always wear a life jacket when boating, regardless of swimming skill.
  • Only swim in designated areas and read all posted safety signs
  • Have a “Water Watcher” in your group
  • Never dive into water less than 10 feet deep
  • Never prolong a breath hold underwater
  • Be aware of hazards (strong currents, underwater debris, dangerous water temperatures, steep drop-offs)
  • Never swim alone
  • Swim sober


Mental Health

In 2022, nearly 50,000 people died by suicide. That is 1 death every 11 minutes. Suicide is a leading cause of death, yet it is preventable. Knowing the warning signs and how to help someone at risk can save a life.

Know the Signs of Suicide

  • Emotional and Behavioral
    • Feeling empty, hopeless, or trapped
    • Changes in mood (sadness, anxiety, agitation)
    • Changes in diet, sleeping, or habits
    • History of living with suicidal thoughts
  • Verbal
    • Talking about unbearable pain, guilt, or shame to the point of no longer wanting to live
    • Statements of being a burden to others
    • Making a plan or researching ways to die
    • Talking about wanting to die or how they can no longer go on

What You Can Do To Help

Suicide is preventable. Taking action and offering hope may save someone’s life.

  • Question: if you’re concerned, it’s safe to ask about suicide
  • Persuade by listening to them and giving them your full attention. Offer hope and support without judgment.
  • Refer: take the person directly to someone who can help or get a commitment from them to accept help and make arrangements with them

The Stepping Strong Center offers QPR suicide prevention trainings for organizations and teams. Contact Veronica Topp for more information or to schedule.


Firearm Safety

During periods of increased stress and time spent at home, it is important to ensure safe storage of medications and firearms to protect you and your family from unintentional injury.

Safe Storage Tips

  • Store your medications and/or firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, or container.
  • Gun locks cause guns to be inoperable and can be used in addition to storing the guns in a locked container.
  • Store your firearm ammunition separate from your gun and store guns unloaded.

Safe Storage Resources

Violence Prevention

For some, home may not be a safe place. Victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) may be stuck at home with their abuser and unable to connect with friends, family, or coworkers, making them at increased risk of violence in the home. The complexity of their situations may also be exacerbated by additional marginalization, such as financial insecurity, structural racism, and/or other forms of oppression and discrimination. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence at home, know you are not alone. Here are some resources to help.

Learn more about Dr. Khurana’s research.

Traffic Safety

Safe Driving Tips

  • Slow down: Drive no faster than the designated speed limit
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Drive sober
  • Drive hands-free and undistracted

Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are taking up walking or cycling as a means of exercise and getting outside. It is important to practice safe measures when walking or cycling.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible
  • Refrain from walking at non-daylight hours. If walking at night, make sure to wear light, visible clothing or reflectors so that you are more visible to cars
  • Never assume a driver sees you

Cyclist Safety Tips

  • Wear a helmet while riding
  • Use a bike lane when possible
  • Plan your route on less crowded roadways
  • Ride a bike that works and fits you
  • Ride hands-free and sober

Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety Resources

Fall Prevention

It is important to practice safety measures that keep you and your family safe in the home.

Home Safety Tips

  • Falls Prevention
    • Talk to your provider about having a falls risk assessment
    • Do not rush to answer the phone
    • Refrain from wearing non-slip footwear like slippers, sandals, or high heels
    • Use your cane or walker instead of holding on to furniture for stability
    • Make sure your hallways and stairs are well lit—place night lights and bedside lamps in rooms
    • Tape all throw rugs to the floor
    • Place rubbers mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping
    • Make sure electrical cords are organized and out of the way
  • Burn Prevention
    • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas. Check batteries every six months
    • Develop and practice a fire escape plan
    • Blow candles out before leaving the room or going to sleep
    • Use safe cooking practices: never leave a stove unattended
    • Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency
  • Poison Prevention
    • Store poisonous substances in a locked cabinet or up and away from children. These substances include medications, household cleaners, alcohol, etc.
    • Keep all poisonous products in their original containers
    • If you suspect a poisoning has occurred, call the National Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for guidance from poison control professionals
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