Common Household Hazards: How to Protect Your Family

You might think your home is completely safe and secure. However, there are still hidden dangers in your household you might not be aware of. As the man of the house, it’s important to read up on these potential hazards before anything harmful happens to you or your family. After all, and though it is a sobering fact, unintentional injuries or accidents was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2018.

Here are a few hazards to be aware of

Poisoning

From cleaning materials to medication, you’d be surprised at how many toxic materials we keep in our home. Thankfully, there are simple, but effective ways to ensure your family’s safety.

To start, store chemicals and medicines properly, and away from your children’s reach. After all, products like detergent pods could easily be mistaken for candy. Keep bleach, drain cleaners, and the like in a locked cabinet, and far from food items. Never use old bottles or jars to store chemicals to avoid confusion. Finally, dispose of any unneeded or expired medicine properly.

Mold

Mold is a health risk and needs to be addressed as soon as possible, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked fungal exposure to symptoms like coughing and wheezing. Molds can also exacerbate symptoms in people with underlying lung diseases such as asthma and allergies.

Since fungi thrive in damp areas, be sure to fix any leaky spots in your roof, windows, and pipes. Keep your kitchen and laundry room properly ventilated. Humidifiers and air conditioners also help moderate the level of moisture in the air, limiting the conditions for mold growth.

Falls

According to the World Health Organization, falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths worldwide, and adults older than 65-years-old are particularly susceptible. If you have elderly companions in your home, there are a few ways to prevent fall injuries.

For one, remove tripping hazards such as toys, stray cords, or loose carpets and rugs. Be sure to keep your home well lit so it’s easier to see where you’re walking. Also, use nonslip mats in your bathroom, porch, and other slick surfaces that present a risk. And lastly, consider installing a stair lift, especially if you have steep staircases.

Gas leaks

Gas leaks are commonly caused by improperly-fitted or poorly-maintained gas appliances. HomeServe Living details that because natural gas is odorless, a chemical called mercaptan is added to make it easily detectable by scent.

Once you smell that distinct odor, it’s best to turn off all gas appliances, open your windows, and call a professional right away to check for any leaks in your gas supply. It’s also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially in confined rooms, to add another layer of security.

Hot surfaces and fires

Watch out for hot surfaces and fires, especially if you have very inquisitive kids! The best way to minimize this risk is by child-proofing any fire hazards you might have. Add latches to your dishwasher to prevent curious children from prying it open. Keep their hands from turning stove knobs by buying safety covers for them. And as much as possible, make it a habit to use your stove’s back burners, in case your kids accidentally touch the stovetop. If you have a fireplace make sure there is always a guard around it, whether it is lit or not.

Heavy objects

Seemingly innocuous fixtures like bookshelves and dressers can become household hazards if not properly secured. These can cause injuries like concussions, head trauma, and even death. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has recorded an average of 27,100 individuals being sent to emergency rooms yearly due to tip-over incidents.

To avoid tipping hazards, secure heavy furniture to the floor or walls using angle braces, safety straps, or anchors. Do the same for any heavy appliances such as televisions or large speakers. Additionally, avoid storing heavy objects on top of furniture if you can help it.


As you can see, there are plenty of household safety considerations to bear in mind. And though you can’t always keep a watchful eye on your family, being a good dad also entails reading up on these risks to shield them from harm. For more tips on household management, check out the Being a Dad blog.


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