Your home is your sanctuary. It’s the place that you go to feel safe, comfortable, and whole. It’s where your family gathers and where you sleep at night. So, it’s challenging to think that our safe havens can also be full of hazards. There are obvious dangers that are easy to spot, like exposed sockets or missing locks. However, some threats are hidden and harder to notice.
Knowing what to look for is the first step to protecting your home. Then, the next steps revolve around taking extra precautions. Sometimes, that means hiring experts for remodeling, or mold removal, or maintenance. Other times, there are simple solutions.
Here are four hidden dangers lurking in the home.
Hidden Danger #1: Fire Hazards
Your house is likely full of fire hazards. Some are pretty obvious, like burning candles, smoking indoors, or fireplaces. However, there are a lot of fire hazards that might surprise you.
For instance, space heaters can catch surrounding things on fire in an instant. Your appliances, like your gas water heater or your dryer, are also potential fire hazards. Avoid stacking clothing too close to your gas water heater, and regularly clean the lint screen from your dryer. Check your appliances regularly. If they’re older, either replace them or have them serviced regularly to ensure that you don’t end up with an accidental fire.
Your electronics, and power cords also need close monitoring. Keep them free of dust and get rid of any wires that are showing signs of wear. Watch out for signs of faulty wiring, too. If your lights start dimming or if your fuses on your circuit board blow frequently, it’s time to call an electrician.
Hidden Danger #2: Mold
Mold is incredibly dangerous, and often hard to notice. It usually develops in areas where there is a lot of humidity, like bathrooms, attics, and kitchens. However, it typically grows in hard to spot places like under the sink, where it’s dark and easy to miss.
Now, mold is everywhere, and not all mold is toxic. However, it’s difficult to know the difference. Toxic mold in the home can cause allergies, chronic cough, itchy eyes, skin irritation, sore throat, and headaches. Beyond that, in people with compromised immune systems or existing respiratory issues, it can cause infections and increase the severity of existing breathing issues.
Some mold can even produce something called mycotoxins, and repeat exposure to them can result in severe side-effects and even death. To keep your home safe from dangerous molds, there are a few things you can do.
Avoid standing water and dry up any spills immediately. Frequently check the dark and humid areas of your home to catch any mold growth early. If you think you have mold in your house, call a mold removal expert. They can help identify the mold and remove it if it’s dangerous.
Hidden Danger #3: Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is frightening, because it’s an odorless and flavorless gas. There are zero warnings that you’re being exposed to carbon monoxide until you start feeling sick. Carbon monoxide is produced when things burn. So, if you’re home has a lot of fuel-burning appliances, you’re at a higher risk.
Things like water heaters, dryers, furnaces, gas stoves, cars, and grills all produce carbon monoxide. The issues arise when there isn’t proper ventilation, or when the appliances that are creating the carbon monoxide start malfunctioning.
To protect yourself, you need to make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. You also need to check those batteries frequently. Also, always follow the instruction manual for proper use and set up of any fuel-burning appliance. Then, keep those appliances maintained.
Hidden Danger #4: Refrigerator
According to the CDC, there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses each year. Most of these result from improper food storage or handling. While cleaning out your fridge might be a pain, you must clean it out regularly.
Additionally, E. coli and Salmonella bacteria are abundant in most homes, and all over kitchen appliances, including the fridge. Most people get infected after handling or eating contaminated raw foods. Failing to clean up and store raw meats, vegetables, and eggs properly, could be incredibly dangerous.
To keep your family safe, practice proper food handling techniques, and always clean up thoroughly after handling raw foods. Clearly label dates on any leftovers and throw away expired foods.
Your Home Can Be a Safe Place
If you take precautions and be wary of invisible hazards, your home isn’t a breeding ground for danger. Be thoughtful and aware of your surroundings, and take the extra steps to ensure that you prioritize safety above all else. Do the things you can do yourself, but don’t hesitate to call in experts if it’s outside of your scope. Nothing is worth the safety of yourself and your family.
(LINK: CDC statistics link: https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/index.html)