Preventions and Hazards

Posted by Steven Davidson on

When you are considering buying your first house, there are so many things to think about. You have to think about the cost of the mortgage, if you want a yard or not, and how old is too old for appliances? It's easy to forget that there are other hazards around the house that could come back and bite you at any time.
 

I know I'm guilty of this myself; it took me almost burning my entire kitchen down before I realized that having an oven that was older than me wasn't safe anymore! Listen up though because I don't want anyone else making my mistakes. Here are some common (and dangerous) hazards around your house--some might surprise you! 

Falls 

When it comes to accidents in the home, slips and trips account for over half of all accidental injuries. Make sure you're not setting any hazards by decluttering your house so as to reduce these risks! When handling clutter around stairs or areas where there are often people walking (like dining rooms), always ask first because sometimes we find something much more dangerous than what looks like debris at first glance - such as wires hanging loose from a nearby outlet.

  • Staircases: Keep children safe from tumbling down steps by installing safety gates at both the bottom and top of staircases. Keep everyone safe by making sure the lighting is good and the handrails and steps are solid and well maintained. Elderly people with less mobility should consider installing stairlifts or consider moving to a home without stairs to avoid falls.
home hazards
  • Bathrooms: Anyone is susceptible to falls in the bathroom due to slippery wet surfaces. While not the most hygienic type of flooring for a bathroom, people at risk of falling should consider having bathroom floors fully carpeted. Showers should have rubber mats to prevent falls from wet surfaces. Have mats or towels placed on the floor when getting out of the bath or shower. The elderly should consider investing in hoists or seats to make showering and bathing safer as well as a water-proof medical alert device.

Poisoning

The second leading cause of fatalities is poisoning which leads to 5,000 deaths a year in the U.S. This is an especially heartbreaking statistic as for most part curious children are affected by this type hazard! To prevent your child from serious injury and becoming one these numbers follow these safety tips: 

home hazards
  • Any cleaning products and harmful substances if kept in the kitchen should be stored in cupboards out of the reach of small children in higher cupboards. If they are kept in lower cupboards, make sure you invest in inexpensive childproof locks for these cupboards.
  • Store paint and pesticides in garages and sheds that are locked and on high shelves away from children.
  • Monitor children in the kitchen and do not leave them unattended.
  • Label all unmarked containers and do not store products in food containers.
  • Have the details of the poison control centre number in your area to hand and have it stored on your mobile phone. In the event of poisoning, you need to act fast.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. Unlike gas, it cannot be detected by smell. You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and keep your family safe by following these steps: 

Home Hazards

  • Make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and test them regularly. 
  • Make sure your heaters are checked annually to prevent danger from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Fire Hazards

3,000 American lives are claimed each year from fire hazards. These accidents rank as the third biggest killer in terms of home accidents and deaths; they also leave devastating burns to loved ones who lived there along with damage to homes themselves. To avoid fatalities:

home hazards
  • Install smoke detectors in the kitchen, bedrooms and basement.
  • Test your alarm monthly and ensure you replace the batteries twice a year.
  • Consider a home alarm system that detects smoke. This will not just raise an alarm like a usual smoke detector but it will contact the local fire department and help will be on its way. This is particularly useful should a fire render the householders incapable of response due to smoke inhalation.
  • Be careful when cooking and NEVER leave a pan of oil for deep-frying unattended. If the pan catches fire use a damp tea towel to deal with the flames, never try to put the fire out with water.
  • Have your electrical wiring tested regularly by a qualified electrician.
  • At Xmas, a major hazard and devastating tragedy is fires, which can start from faulty Xmas tree lights. Ensure your festivities are not ruined by a fire by switching off all Xmas lights before you go to bed.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • If you smoke, take care to extinguish all cigarettes carefully.
  • Never leave a candle burning overnight.
  • Have a fire safety plan that everyone knows and carefully plan how you will exit the home.

Drowning

Children aged from one to four years old are at serious risk of drowning. In fact, it is the leading cause for fatalities and injuries in this age group with 800 deaths occurring each year throughout America alone due lack of knowledge on how much depth two inches equates too when taken into account by small bodies who cannot swim yet or have not mastered floating techniques properly either yet . Follow these steps so you can be sure your little ones stay safe!

home hazards
  • Always supervise babies and young children when bathing. If the phone rings at bath time, then leave it. It is not as important as your child’s safety. Ring them back when bath time is over!
  • Keep toilet lids closed.
  • If you have a swimming pool or pond then it should be in a fenced area. Never leave children in an unsupervised situation when water is about, including paddling pools.
  • Don’t use electrical items in the bathroom.

Choking

Choking is the leading cause of death in children, and it can happen at any time. The best way for parents to keep their little ones safe from choking hazards? Put things away when they're not being used! These are a few tips to keep your child safe: 

home hazards
  • Always watch small children.
  • Know how to perform first aid on your child should they start to choke, this includes knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your child if needed.
  • Make sure your child plays with toys that are age-appropriate and from reputable companies with no possibility of small breaking parts.
  • Follow safety procedures when putting babies to sleep and ensure there are no choking hazards in the bed.
  • At mealtimes, cut up food into small pieces for young children. Teach them to chew and swallow and do not give them large hard candy which is easy to choke on.

Suffocation

Toddlers and young children may be at risk of suffocation in your home. Follow these simple steps to avoid accidents and potential fatalities:

home hazards
  • Keep trash bags away from children and other bags that are a hazard.
  • Keep strings, cords, and ropes out of the reach of children. In particular, pay attention to curtains that have cords and make sure cots and beds are not near this strangling hazard.

Preventions

We hope that this blog post has given you some insights into the dangers of your home. It is important to stay safe in any environment, but it can be especially difficult at home where we are most vulnerable and not expecting danger. Safety should always be a priority, whether indoors or out!  Who knows what hazards lurk around every corner?


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