In my newest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People
, I teach people how to utilize ten essentials that are necessary in living a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care
, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the tenth and last installment of this ten-part series.
These “Ten Commandments,” which I’ve long suggested to my patients and to my radio and television audiences, target exclusively the physical wheel. I suspect we could identify several more commandments related to preventing disease, but these are an excellent start.
Commandment #10 = Install and Maintain Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke detectors save lives. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in 1998 there were more than 380,000 residential fires, resulting in nearly 20,000 deaths. For persons of all ages, fires and burns are the fourth most common cause of unintentional injury-related death—after motor vehicles, falls, and poisoning—causing more than 4,000 deaths annually.
Eighty percent of all fire deaths take place in residences that don’t have operational smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are your best protection against death or injury in a nighttime fire in your home, but they won’t protect you if they don’t work properly or if the battery is dead or has been removed. The American Red Cross recommends that you test your smoke detectors once a month, replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the detectors themselves every ten years.
You could also invest in a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that can kill you while you sleep. If your house is heated by gas, most experts recommend that you install a carbon monoxide detector. You can even buy detectors now that will detect both smoke and carbon monoxide.
Plan at least two escape routes from every room in your home, making sure that all family members know how to use them in case of fire or other emergency.
You may not find a lot of surprises here—but the real questions are these:
- Which of these rules do you need to begin to follow?
- When do you plan to start?
- What strategies will ensure your success?
- By beginning with a single step and then continuing to improve on a day-to-day basis, you’ll be on your way to becoming a highly healthy and happy person.
- Set a Wise Balance in Your Life – The Essential of Balance
- Be Proactive in Preventing Disease – The Essential of Self-Care
- Practice Acceptance and Letting Go – The Essential of Forgiveness
- Lighten Your Load – The Essential of Reducing SADness (Stress, Anxiety, and Depression)
- Avoid Loneliness Like the Plague – The Essential of Healthy Relationships
- Cultivate a True Spirituality – The Essential of Spiritual Well-Being
- See Yourself as Your Creator Sees You – The Essential of a Positive Self-Image
- Nurture Your Hopes and Dreams – The Essential of Discovering Your Destiny
- Be Your Own Health Care Quarterback – The Essential of Personal Responsibility and Empowerment
- Team Up with Winning Health Care Providers – The Essential of Teamwork