Most people think their home is the safest place for their family. The truth is that your home is hiding numerous hazards that could cause harm or injury to your family. The good news is that knowing about these potential hazards is the first step in protecting your family from injury or harm. According to San Antonio injury attorney Justin Hill, these are five common hazards in the home that many people are unaware of and how you can protect your family now that you know about them.
1. Carbon Monoxide
Most people associate carbon monoxide with motor vehicles. We know that carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50,000 people are treated each year in the United States for carbon monoxide poisoning. Approximately 430 people die each year nationwide from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Several household appliances can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, including stoves, furnaces, gas ranges, portable generators, water heaters, and kerosene heaters. Burning wood or charcoal in a fireplace can also produce carbon monoxide.
The best way to protect your family is to ensure any appliance that uses organic fuel is properly ventilated. You also need to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
Mold is a microscopic organism that grows in damp places in your home, especially in areas with poor ventilation such as bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, and attics. However, mold can grow anywhere in your home, given the right conditions. Exposure to mold can cause a variety of serious health conditions, including lung infections and asthma attacks.
Before cleaning mold, repair and fix the problem that caused the mold, such as leaky faucets or poor ventilation. The EPA provides instructions for mold cleanup, including tips and techniques. In some cases, mold can be highly toxic. You might want to have the mold tested if you are concerned.
3. Household Chemicals and Pesticides
Most homes have a cabinet or closet that contains a variety of household cleaning chemicals and pesticides. These items are typically dangerous to your health if they are mixed, used improperly, or ingested. The chemicals in these products can cause nerve damage, brain damage, breathing problems, and life-threatening conditions. You should always store these products in a locked cabinet or closet in their original containers. Always follow all instructions carefully and avoid direct exposure. Wash your hands thoroughly after working with any poisonous products.
4. Recalled Items
Some of the most dangerous items in your home are recalled items. Commonly recalled items in your home that could cause harm to you or a family member include children’s toys, household appliances, furniture, medications, clothing, bedding, and fixtures. You can sign up for alerts from the Consumer Product Safety Commission so that you can quickly dispose of any defective products in your home as soon as a recall is issued.
5. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of germs in your home that can cause illnesses. However, for children, it can be deadly. Just a couple of squirts of hand sanitizer are enough for a young child to develop alcohol poisoning if swallowed. Because hand sanitizers are available in enticing scents and colors, younger children may be tempted to taste them. To protect your children, always monitor their use of hand sanitizer and store the containers out of sight until your children are mature enough to understand not to taste it, get it near their eyes, or use too much.
Is Your Home Safe?
For more information and home safety tips, you can visit the websites for Healthfinder (USDHHS), HUD, and the CDC.