I like to think of our home as being our sanctuary. I like to think it is the one place that we can retreat to with the family and not have to worry about a single thing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. A lot of accidents happen at home, and most of the time they can be prevented.
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If you want to ensure that your home IS the safe haven you’d like to think it is, here are some common household safety hazards and some things you can do to prevent them:
Steps and Stairs
If you have young children, family members who are disabled, or elderly staying in your home, the stairs can become a safety hazard. Luckily, it is pretty easy to make them safer by ensuring that you have solid handrails, baby gates where necessary and floor coverings that are securely fixed to the floor. Get rid of those very trendy, but oh so easy to trip on runners that many people have. You should also ensure your stairs are always free from toys and other debris.
If you have steps outdoors, cleaning them regularly, de-icing them when necessary and gritting them if it’s icy are all simple measures you can take to minimize the risks. Again, a good solid handrail will really help too.
Although a lot of house fires are caused by things like smoking, candles and cooking accidents, many are caused by electrical faults. This could easily have been prevented with a prompt visit from a local electrician. If you notice that your lights are flickering, fuses are blowing more often than you would consider normal or there are hotspots in certain parts of your walls, there is a good chance that your wiring might be faulty and you should have it checked out as a priority.
It’s important that you also install multiple fire alarms in your home and check them to ensure that they are working regularly. By doing this, should a fire start for whatever reason, it is much more likely that you will be alerted early and be able to get you and your family out of danger quickly. The same goes for having at least a couple of fire extinguishers – one on each floor.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide can be deadly and it is undetectable. This means that if there is a leak, it could be too late for you to do anything about it! In the early stages of carbon monoxide poisoning, you are likely to experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and sickness. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to call out a professional to assess your HVAC system and anything else that could be leaking this deadly gas.
Of course, it is far better to prevent leaks from happening. You can so this by having any systems in the home that use gas, whether that be a HVAC system, water heater or gas stove, serviced at least once a year and repaired swiftly if you think it is not working correctly.
It is also imperative that you install a carbon monoxide detector that will serve as an early warning so that you can get your family to safety fast should a leak occur.
Loose Roof Tiles
It might not be the most common cause of household injuries, but you’d be surprised just how many people are injured by falling roof tiles, especially after a storm. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to inspect your roof every few months, and certainly after any period of bad weather. If you notice that slates have become loose, hiring a professional is the best way forward to ensure they are properly secured. Companies who specialize in storm damage repairs are often the best to call because they have a lot of experience in this area and they can spot other kinds of damage that you may not have been aware of too. Just make sure you properly secure your ladder when you go up to inspect the roof!
Small Items that Cause Choking
If you have young children, one of the worst safety hazards for your family is likely to be that of small objects and toys, which babies and toddlers can pick up and put in their mouths, often leading to catastrophic results. The best way to deal with this is to minimize the amount of small objects in the home. You’ll want to ensure that any small items you do have around are always kept out of reach of children. Cleaning the home thoroughly on a regular basis will also help you to spot any potential choking hazards, as will inspecting toys for any loose parts.
Mold Causing Illness
It’s not unusual for homeowners to develop mold, particularly in the bathroom. The bathroom is hot, humid and wet, making a perfect breeding ground. Most homeowners hate mold because it looks unsightly, but many do not realize that it can be a very real health hazard, particularly if it is toxic black mold.
Mold can worsen conditions like asthma, affect the lungs and make people with weak immune systems, in particular, very sick. It’s important then, that you do what you can to minimize the chances of it growing in your home. You can do this by scrubbing your home well and using an extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent the conditions that mold will thrive in. Of course regularly scrubbing walls, floors, and tiles with a good strong cleaning solution will help as well.
Knives and Cans Causing Cuts
Knives and cans are pretty essential, in the kitchen, but they can cause cuts which can be serious. So, if you can, choose knives that come with sheaths to cover the blade, or at the very least store them in a block which necessitates picking them up by the handle.
When it comes to cans, storing them in a trash can that can be locked is a great way to keep kids and pets safe from cuts.
With just a little work, your home really can be a safe haven.