USE PROPER LIGHTING TO PREVENT INJURIES

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3.0 USE PROPER LIGHTING TO PREVENT INJURIES; HOW TO PREVENT CRIME, ACCIDENTS, INJURIES

Many people are very careful about turning off light bulbs around the house. I think it is important to balance cost savings against the safety and security that good lighting gives you, especially in the winter.

Many, many injuries are caused by poor lighting. People stumble on a toy or twist an ankle getting out of the car. Remember that falls are the most common type of injury.

In addition thieves choose houses that have inadequate outdoor lighting. Make sure that you can always see clearly when you come home late at night or when you walk down a hallway. The following tips may help. If possible light hallways with low power fluorescent bulbs and leave them on after dark until you go to bed. For example, a fifteen watt fluorescent bulb will put out as much light as a 60 watt tungsten bulb. Smaller wattages are available.

I realize that leaving a light on for 6-8 hours a day in the winter goes against what many thrifty people believe, but a lifetime of cost savings for a couple of light bulbs will not pay for one serious injury caused by bad lighting.

Outside, install motion sensitive bright spot lights which will come on when you drive in your drive way or approach your door and will also scare any thief. You can set them to automatically turn off after a few minutes.

NOTE: What does it cost to run one 60 watt light bulb for an average 6 hours a day, all year long? The math goes like this:

== 60 (watts) X 8 (hours) X 365 (days a year) / 1000 (to get the number of kilowatts used) = 131.40 kilowatts

Multiply the number of kilowatts X 8 cents per kilowatt (about average) = $10.51 per year.

== If you used a 15 watt fluorescent bulb, the cost would be $2.67 per year.


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