Beware of These Most Common Hazards Within Your Home
Being aware of hazards within your home is the first step to preventing them. Some of the most common hazards at home include fire, poisoning, and allergies. There may also be risks posed by your home’s contents, such as falls, choking, cuts and burns.
Fires at home can be highly dangerous, not only to your property but also to you and the people you live with. Be sure to have working smoke alarms in the house tested regularly, and a fire plan with safety protocols in place.
To reduce the risk of a home fire:
Reduce flammable clutter, such as old boxes or paper.
Never leave cooking unattended.
Maintain any fireplaces and chimneys with regular inspections from a professional.
Assess electrical systems and seek the assistance of an electrician if you notice frayed or loose wires.
Several household items present poisoning risks, such as cleaning and maintenance supplies, medications, and petroleum products. Keeping these things locked away and out of reach of children can reduce the chance of them being accidentally ingested. And when storing these items, try not to keep chemicals or petrol in bottles that could be mistaken for something that’s drinkable, such as a soft drink bottle.
Another hazard to be aware of is carbon dioxide poisoning, which can occur in homes with appliances that use fossil fuels, such as gas. It’s very difficult to detect carbon monoxide, but you can reduce your risk of exposure by installing a carbon monoxide detector. Regular maintenance of appliances that might cause a leak, such as heaters and ovens, is also important.
Mold grows when water condenses onto surfaces, such as walls and window frames, and is directly related to humidity within your home. If you have an allergy to mold, symptoms can include sneezing, itchy eyes, and headaches. To keep mold at bay, remove condensation from surfaces in your home, especially in damp areas such as your bathroom and kitchen, and keep air vents clear. You may also benefit from using an air purifier.
Swimming pools and other water-related hazards such as bathtubs that aren’t properly secured or monitored, present a risk of drowning, especially for young children. Be alert when they’re in use and install a fence or another barrier around them for when they’re not.
Contents can also be hazards, such as falls, which account for 40 percent of injuries requiring hospitalization, so don’t use rugs that you can trip over or that slide along the floor. Clutter and power cords can also cause falls.
Choking is another risk, so cut food into small bites for children and don’t buy tiny toys for your kids. Cuts and burns are also common injuries at home, so store sharp objects away from children and make sure children are protected from fireplaces and stoves when cooking.