Ronnie Klein

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How to Identify and Avoid Dangerous Hazards in Your Home

It’s safe to say that none of us is purposely making our homes a hazard. And, no matter how hard we try, accidents still happen. But there is nothing more important than protecting ourselves, our families, and our investment.

“The home is supposed to be where you and your family are safe and protected but every year accident and emergency units deal with serious injuries and sometimes fatal accidents that occur in the home,” said StaySafe. “It is not just children and the elderly that can come to harm in the home with things like chemicals and choke hazards. Accidents in the home claim 18,000 lives each year in America alone, “accounting for 21 million medical visits annually. Many of these accidents are preventable.”

These tips will uncover key areas where dangers typically lie and the simple maintenance involved in avoiding them.

Dryer vents

Thousands of fires are started in the home every year because of deferred maintenance related to the clothes dryer. You may clean out the lint screen, but it’s the lint you can’t see that accumulates in the vent that can be dangerous. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) “recommends cleaning or having a professional inspect the vent for lint build-up a minimum of every two to three years,” said Hunker. “Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire does break out in or around your dryer.”

Falls

A third of all fatalities in the home are due to falls. A great number of them are related to old age, however people of all ages can also be at risk. Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs is an obvious safety precaution with little ones, as are grab bars in bathrooms that are serving older individuals. Closely monitoring wet areas – just outside the shower and bath and in front of the kitchen sink – can help with slips. Installing nonslip rug pads under area rugs is key to keeping them in place and eliminating falls.

Blinds

The thought of a young child being strangled due to hanging cords from window blinds is horrifying. But it happens. According to USA Today, “Injuries and death from window blind cords send two kids to emergency department each day.” Eliminate the worry without having to give up the blinds by choosing a cordless version. They give you the look and room-darkening features you want with some added safety measures.

Fire alarms

When’s the last time you changed your fire alarm batteries? If you can’t remember, you’re obviously overdue. “Install fire alarms on all levels of your home, and check and change the batteries at least annually,” said safewise. “Consider investing in a smart smoke detector like Nest Protect. This alarm uses Wi-Fi to provide real-time updates and remote monitoring right on your smartphone or other mobile device.”

A dirty oven

Most ovens today have a self-cleaning feature. While it’s not entirely pleasant to endure the smell while it’s doing its thing, it far outweighs the alternative, especially considering 40 percent of fires in the home start in the kitchen.

“A dirty oven can cause fires while cooking, allowing charred food or grease to ignite,” said Home Security. “Clean your oven regularly and always attend food while cooking in the oven.’

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because “its presence is not known until symptoms of the exposure are experienced,” said Poison Control. “It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially dangerous gas. You can’t see it or smell it.”

It’s typical for smoke detectors to be in homes, but despite the fact that a carbon monoxide detector can save lives, they are often left to the homeowner to purchase and install. “Each year in the United States, more than 200 accidental deaths are caused by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. It is considered the leading cause of death from poisoning in the United States.” 

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