These 5 Common Home Safety Hazards Can Be Corrected—Find Out How Here
Everyone wants their loved ones to be free from illness or injury. Unfortunately, many of these instances can occur in the home. Therefore, people should actively look for home hazards, as vigilance goes a long way towards keeping the home's occupants out of harm's way. Here are five home hazards to identify and correct.
Common Fall Hazards Found in the Home
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consistently cites falls as one of the top reasons for emergency room visits. Top fall hazards to find and fix are:
- Loose handrails. Tighten these so they are secure.
- Slippery floors. Add area rugs with non-slip padding underneath.
- Trip hazards. Teach children to pick up toys and ensure other family members don't leave items scattered on floors.
- Staircases. Use a safety gate for small children and apply non-stick tread on slippery steps. Ensure no steps are loose.
- Showers. Install handrails or other supports to help avoid shower accidents.
To avoid falls, people should always ensure hallways and stairways are well-lit. The CDC states one of every five falls results in serious injury.
Common Fire Hazards Found in the Home
Hundreds of thousands of house fires occur in the U.S. each year. Here's what to look for throughout a home:
- Unattended candles. It's easy to fall asleep or forget to blow out a candle when going out. Set timers when burning candles or switch to flameless candles and wax melts.
- Smoking. If household members smoke, try to make a designated area with safe disposal containers for ashes and butts. Never smoke in bed.
- Cooking. Avoid leaving unattended food cooking on the stove.
- Frayed wires. Avoid electrical fires by unplugging any appliances not being used. Regularly check for frayed wires.
- Electrical system. It's a good idea to have household wiring inspected, especially old wiring periodically; sometimes, wires, switches, and outlets need replacing.
- Vents and ducts. Clean these regularly (remember the dryer!).
Be sure to install smoke alarms in every bedroom and on every level of the house. Check batteries regularly and change them out at least once a year. Additionally, consider a smart smoke detector that can send real-time alerts to smartphones.
Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas with no scent. Detectors can identify potential problems with HVAC systems, water heaters, and kitchen appliances using gas. If an alert goes off, get out of the house immediately. Carbon monoxide can cause severe illness and death. Check batteries when checking smoke alarms.
Laceration Risks Found in the Home
Most people are surprised to learn how many sharp hazards are around the home. Ensure all sharp objects are safely tucked away or disposed of properly.
As an additional safety measure, install child safety locks on kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers. This action serves as a double preventative safety step because it keeps children away from household cleaners and other poisons.
Strangling and Choking Hazards Found in the Home
Corded shades and blinds aren't as common today, but many are still in homes and on the market. For window dressing with cords, be sure they're out of children's reach. Cords can be tied up, trimmed, removed, or replaced. Routinely inspect toys, only keep age-appropriate toys, and place small candies and nuts in high cabinets. A strangling or choking accident can happen fast; eliminate these hazards to keep children safe.
Home safety begins with awareness. It's good to get into the habit of routinely looking for hazards and actively correcting them before an accident happens.