Off-Duty Safety a Key Concern for Navy

Story Number: NNS100623-07Release Date: 6/23/2010 3:08:00 PM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Darren Harrison, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Washington will hold two safety standdowns June 30.

Every day in the U.S., 55 people die and another 58,000 people are injured as a result of an accident in the home, according to statistics released by the Home Safety Council. Common fatal or injury incidents include falls, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and drowning.

"Off duty incidents have claimed a lot of lives so we need to address home safety," said Tyrie Hudson, NSA Washington's traffic safety manager. "[At home] we lose focus. That's why a high percentage of people who get injured, get injured in incidents at the home."

The first standdown from 9 to 11 a.m. will be held in Room 315 in Building 220 with the second from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Admiral Gooding Center. The standdowns will include several presentation about a variety of topics including barbecue and fireworks safety, water safety, traffic safety and recreation safety.

Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits among children and are also the leading cause of injury and deaths at home for older adults. Tips for preventing falls include installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom and placing bright lights over stairs, steps and landings. Other safety measures include handrails on both sides of stairs and using baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs if infants are in the home.

One out of four people die from poisoning at home every year, so it is important to ensure that poisons are locked, away from children, avoid mixing chemicals and read all instructions on medicine.

Carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there are approximately 2,100 unintentional deaths and 10,000 injuries from carbon monoxide (CO) every year in the U.S. The use of CO alarms could potentially prevent many of these fatalities and injuries.

Safety tips include installing alarms that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory inside the home and calling the local fire department's non-emergency telephone number to find out the correct number to call if the alarm sounds.

In addition to working carbon monoxide alarms, it is also important to install smoke alarms which can cut the risk of dying in the home by nearly half.

Tips to prevent death or injury from fire include staying by the stove when cooking, blowing out candles if you leave the room and placing space heaters away from anything that can burn.

"I've noticed a lot of incidents coming from fireworks and barbecuing [at home]," said Hudson. "A lot of people don't seem to realize how dangerous fireworks or the propane tanks for barbecuing can be. Some people lose their focus either through getting something too close to the flame or not pulling the barbecue far enough away from the house."

Another significant safety problem is choking. According to the Home Safety Council, half of the number of children who die before age one die from choking or suffocation.

Items that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a child to choke. The Council also insists that parents should not put pillows, comforters or toys in a baby's crib.

Water safety is a key concern for the Navy's safety center. The Navy experienced eight deaths in 2009 as a result of off-duty drowning.

Measures to protect a persons residence from being the site of a water related injury or death include erecting a fence around the entire pool and ensuring that children are supervised at all times.

Fore more information about home safety and other safety resources visit

For more news from Naval District Washington, visit

Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service.