You think of your home as a place of comfort and safety, and that’s what it should be. If you don’t take the right precautions, though, your home is full of hidden dangers. From fall risks to fire hazards, your home is riskier than you think.
Fortunately, it’s your home, so you can take any preventative measures you want to make it safer. The first step is knowing what hazards surround you so you can tackle them one by one. Start with this list of the most common household hazards.
1. Showers, Tubs, and Bathroom Floors
Your bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas of your home. Water and humidity can make the floor slippery, and it does the same to your tub or shower. This puts you at risk for a fall, and 20% of falls lead to severe injuries.
Pay attention to the areas of your bathroom that get slippery and find ways to keep them safer. Place a rug next to your shower or tub. Make sure it’s a shower rug that has a non-slip coating on the bottom.
You can make the bottom of your shower or tub less dangerous, too, by installing non-slip mats or coatings. Finally, have a lifeline to use in case you do fall. This could be a bar to pull yourself up or a call button to call for help.
2. Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon monoxide is often called a “silent killer,” and that is eerily true. It has no smell, so most people never know if they have a carbon monoxide leak. Unfortunately, this particular home hazard is lethal.
Carbon monoxide tends to leak into homes through a problem with the furnace or the lines that connect to the furnace. Your furnace could appear to be working fine even if it’s leaking carbon monoxide.
To prevent this danger, install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check the batteries regularly. Get a furnace inspection each year too, and keep up with a maintenance plan to lower your chance for a furnace malfunction.
3. Dangerous Trees
Trees can add beauty and health to your lawn, but sometimes they pose risks too. If they develop a disease or a damaging bug infestation, they can weaken and fall onto your home or vehicle. Branches can break off also and cause severe damage.
If you have a tree in a precarious location or a sick tree, your safest bet is to remove it. You can replace it with a tree that is smaller or is in a safer area.
Tree removal can be expensive, but there is good news. Some tree removals qualify for a tax deduction, especially if you do it for safety reasons. Is tree removal tax deductible in your area? Check with your trusted local tax experts to find out.
4. Harmful Chemicals
There are certain chemicals you need to keep available to maintain your home. We’re talking about cleaning products, lawn care chemicals, paints, automotive fluids, and similar products. As essential as these items are, they also pose a risk.
Household chemicals are especially dangerous for kids, pets, and anyone with developmental or cognitive issues. They may see antifreeze as something that looks like juice, not as a deadly toxin.
To keep everyone safe, clearly label all your risky chemicals. Then, store them in a cabinet that is high up and lockable. Finally, make sure that cabinet isn’t near any heat sources because many toxic chemicals are also flammable.
5. Open Flames
It seems obvious that open flames are fire hazards, but you may not realize how many flames you have around the house. Candles, gas stoves, and fireplaces are all common yet dangerous fixtures in many homes.
For starters, make sure you only use those items when they stay in your direct line of sight. If you have a candle burning, for instance, put it out before you walk into another room.
Next, make sure the area around the flame is free from anything flammable. Move any paper, alcohol, fabric, or wood at least a few feet from the flame.
In case the flame does catch something, be sure to have a fire extinguisher easily accessible too. Extinguishers need to be inspected and refilled regularly, so keep up with that easy maintenance schedule.
6. Household Bugs
Homeowners tend to think of bugs as a nuisance, but they present more of a danger than you might realize. For instance, some bugs carry diseases, and you may be severely allergic to some bugs’ bites without realizing it.
Bugs also make other areas of your home more dangerous. For example, termites can destroy the structure of your home’s beams and supports, or the trees in your yard. Those beams and trees can come crashing down and put your family in danger.
The best strategy is to prevent infestations before they happen. Contact your local pest control provider and set up a preventative maintenance program. This typically involves spraying once or twice per year, but it depends on your location.
If you see any signs of a possible infestation, call your pest control professional right away. The earlier you catch an infestation, the easier it will be to get rid of it while preventing damage to your home.
7. Swimming Pools
Not every home has a swimming pool, but they’re dangerous enough and common enough that it’s essential to address them.
People of any age can fall into a swimming pool and drown. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, you could hit your head on the way in and become unconscious.
Install a fence around your pool, and keep that fence locked when you aren’t using the pool. When you aren’t using the pool, you should also cover it with a secure cover, such as one that has ties or locks on the edges.
A looser covering like a tarp doesn’t make the pool safer. It’s easy for someone to fall under the tarp, and no one can see that they need help.
Protecting Your Home from Household Hazards
Your home is supposed to be your ultimate safe haven. The household hazards above aren’t meant to scare you. They’re intended to help you make your home safer so you can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve.
For more home safety and home care tips, check out more articles on our blog.