Household Safety Publications

Web Exclusives

Document Number Publication Description
523 Non Reversing Garage Door Openers A Hazard (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5006 Infants and Toddlers Can Drown in 5-Gallon Buckets (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5015 Aluminum Cookware Can Melt and Cause Severe Burns (HTML) Safety Alert.
5022 Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires (HTML) Safety Alert.
5028 Prevent Injuries to Children from Exercise Bikes (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5029 Young Children and Teens Burned by Hair Curling Irons (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5035 Safety Tips For Flood Victims (HTML) Illustrates dangerous practices flood victims may engage in during efforts to rebuild or while staying in temporary housing or partially damaged homes. Provides safety recommendations.
5063 Fire Hazard with Nightlights (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert: Placing a nightlight next to bed spreads or other flammable items can cause a fire.
5064 Children Still Suffocating with Plastic Bags (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5068 Use Potpourri Pots Safely (HTML) Safety Alert.
5071 CPSC Warns Parents About Child Accidents in Recliner Chairs. (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5072 CPSC Warns About Suffocation and Death of Children in Old Refrigerators (HTML) Safety Alert.
5073 CPSC Warning: Freezer, Dryer, Cooler and Refrigerator Entrapment Deaths to Children (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5088 Household Batteries Can Cause Chemical Burns (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5098 Tap Water Scalds (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5103 Upholstered Furniture (HTML) Safety Alert.
5114 Children Can Strangle in Window Covering Cords (HTML) (PDF) Safety Alert.
5124 Preventing Window Falls (HTML) Alert.
5127 Paper Shredder Safety Alert (HTML) (PDF) Alert.

Neighborhood Safety Library

Document Number Publication Description
253 Thrift Store Safety Checklist (HTML) Checklist.
254 Dangerous and Recalled Products Reference Guide for Resale Stores (PDF) (PDF-SPANISH) Guidance for Thrift Stores and other Resale Stores.
560 Sleep Safer: A Fire Resistant Mattress Can Save Your Life (PDF) (PDF-SPANISH) New Federal Mattress Standard



Nearly every household uses products containing hazardous materials. Although the risk of a chemical accident is slight, knowing how to handle these products and how to react during an emergency can reduce the risk of injury.

BEFORE Contact authorities on hazardous household materials, such as the American Red Cross or the Environmental Protection Agency, for information about potentially dangerous household products and their antidotes. Ask about the advisability of maintaining antidotes in your home for:

  • Cleaners and germicides
  • Deodorizers
  • Detergents
  • Drain and bowl cleaners
  • Gases
  • Home medications
  • Laundry bleaches
  • Liquid fuels
  • Paint removers and thinners
  • Store household chemicals according to the instructions on the label. Read instructions on how to dispose of chemicals properly. Small amounts of the following products can be safely poured down the drain with plenty of water:
  • Antifreeze
  • Bathroom and glass cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Drain cleaner
  • Fertilizer
  • Household disinfectant
  • Laundry and dishwashing detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rug and upholstery cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Small amounts of the following products should be disposed of by wrapping the container in newspaper and plastic and placing it in the trash:
  • Brake fluid
  • Car wax or polish
  • Dish and laundry soap
  • Drain cleaner
  • Fertilizer
  • Furniture and floor polish
  • Insect repellent
  • Nail polish
  • Oven cleaner
  • Paint thinner and strippers
  • Pesticides
  • Powder cleansers
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Water-based paint
  • Wood preservatives
  • Dispose of the following products at a recycling center or a collection site: For more information call the Cambridge DPW at 349-4005
  • Kerosene
  • Motor or fuel oil
  • Car battery or battery acid
  • Diesel fuel
  • Transmission fluid
  • Large amounts of paint
  • Thinner or stripper
  • Power steering fluid
  • Turpentine
  • Gun cleaning solvents
  • Tires
  • Disposing of Medicines and Spray Cans Flush medicines that are no longer being used or that are out-dated down the toilet and place the empty container in the trash. Empty spray cans by pressing the button until nothing comes out and then place the can in the trash. Do not place spray cans into a burning barrel, incinerator, or trash compactor because they may explode. BEFORE Keep fire extinguishers in home and car. Post the number of the nearest poison control center by the telephone. Learn to recognize the symptoms of toxic poisoning.
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or respiratory tract
  • Changes in skin color
  • Headache or blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Cramps or diarrhea
  • DURING If there is danger of a fire or explosion, get out of the house immediately. If there is a fire or explosion, call the Cambridge fire department at 876-5800 or call 911 after you get out. Stay away from the house to avoid the possibility of breathing toxic fumes. AFTER Wash hands, arms, or other parts of the body that may have been exposed to the chemical. Discard any clothing that may have been contaminated. Administer first aid treatment to victims of chemical burns.
  • Remove clothing and jewelry from around the injury.
  • Pour clean, cool water over the burn for 15-30 minutes.
  • Loosely cover the burn with a sterile or clean dressing. Be sure that the dressing will not stick to the burn.
  • Refer victim to a medical professional for further treatment.
  • Eye Contact with a Hazardous Substance If a hazardous substance comes in contact with an eye, it is important to take immediate action. Delaying first aid can greatly increase the likelihood of permanent injury. Flush the eye with clear, lukewarm water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Continue the cleansing process even if the victim indicates he or she no longer is feeling any pain, then seek medical attention.