The Most Dangerous Place in the WORLD (Jun, 1934)

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The Most Dangerous Place in the WORLD

By WALTER E. STEWART

NAME six neighboring families. In your own, or one of these, this year will be committed at least one disabling accident. If past records hold good, it will cost you or your neighbor $148 to pay the doctor and for lost wages. The National Safety Council’s records show that in 1933 accidents in the home accounted for 29,500 deaths, a close second to the 30,500 deaths causes by automobiles. If you are an average citizen, the rugs on your floors are the cause of seventeen times as many accidents as all the electricity in your home. Small rugs skid on slippery floors, worn spots hook unwary heels, and curling edges stub the lifting toe. Vacuum cups or non-slip pads under small rugs, judicious mending for the worn spots, and a bit of proper reinforcing for the curling edge are the remedies.

More than half of all the serious accidents in your home will be caused by falls. You may hook your toe under a loose stair tread, fall upstairs and break a kneecap. Or perhaps your cellar stairway is ill-lighted and has no handrail. If so, you can confidently look forward to a bad fall and an average financial loss of $132. The most expensive tumble likely to occur in your home will be due to use of a flimsy chair for a step-ladder. Figuring the cost of a good ladder at $3.50, one upset of the chair will buy eighty-six of them, for such falls cost an average of $303. Bathtubs alone account for 120,000 disabling accidents each year, yet not one out of ten is equipped with a sturdy handrail on the adjacent wall, or with a non-slipping rubber mat. Toys scattered about the floor and brooms left on cellar landings both offer chances for falls.

Burns acquired during the course of the day’s housekeeping rank next to falls. Someone lifts a pot lid at the back of the stove and scalding steam pours out. May be it was a hot baking dish in the oven, or a ladle handle over the gas burner. Most victims of such minor tragedies know that the far edge of a pot lid should be lifted first, that a quilted hand pad is excellent for the oven, and that spoons, forks, or ladles should not be left where they may become excessively heated.

Also the degree of heat in a radiator can be judged more safely by the air above it than by grasping metal which may contain live steam, and long remembered is the singed face which results from peering into a furnace door just in time to get the searing flash which follows the introduction of a shovelful of dusty coal.

Clotheslines in basements invariably seem to be strung directly across the main passageways, and not parallel to them, as they should be. And when your luckless friend explains his black eye was caused by walking against an open door, his explanation is probably true. Far more black eyes do result from open doors in passages and hallways than from fists.

3 comments
  1. Githyanki says: September 17, 20082:42 am

    They consider Lion taming to be a serious cause of home accidents?

  2. Anne says: September 17, 20083:53 am

    “And when your luckless friend explains his black eye was caused by walking against an open door, his explanation is probably true. Far more black eyes do result from open doors in passages and hallways than from fists.”

    I’ve never understood how someone could get a black eye from a door. A door is flat. Your face is not, with eyes being slightly sunken in (compared to the rest of your face). And, if you’re standing upright, your feet stick out further than your nose.

    So how do you get a black eye that way? Peeping through a keyhole?

  3. John M. Hanna says: September 17, 20088:33 pm

    In 1934, the most dangerous place in the world was Germany (especially if you were a Jew).

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