Home health risks come in many shapes and forms. They can be found in the air, like smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide. They can also be found in household products, like water and dust, household chemicals and lead.
Anything in your house that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire during an emergency is a home hazard. At least once each year, inspect your home to find these possible hazards, and remove or fix them.
1. Tripping hazards. Remove throw rugs or scatter mats in high traffic areas such as at the top or bottom of stairs, or use a non-skid backing with flat edges.
2- Electrical hazards. Frayed extension cords, exposed wiring or damaged electrical wiring should be replaced or fixed immediately.
3- Hanging objects. Mirrors, framed pictures, and other objects should be hung from closed hooks so that they can't bounce off the walls.
4- Slippery surfaces. Slippery surfaces on stairs, balconies, porches and patios are a major hazard in many homes. Install non-slip surfaces where needed and keep an absorbent towel handy to wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
5- Dark areas. Install a night light in the halls and bathroom in case you get up in the middle of the night. Install a light switch near stairs and bedroom entrances, or a motion-sensitive or “clapper” device that automatically turns on the light.
6. Stairs. Make sure your stairs are in good repair, free of clutter and have a non-skid surface.
7. Clogged dryer vents. High temperature air combined with lint is a near ideal condition for a fire. Check and clear the dryer vent at least once a year.
8. Kitchen appliances. An improperly installed appliance can fall forward if your child leans or climbs on it. Toddlers have been critically injured when they tipped over a stove and were doused with a pot of scalding water. Make sure free-standing or slide-in appliances are installed with anti-tip brackets that secure the rear legs to the floor.
9. Sharp objects. Keep glass objects and appliances with sharp blades stored out of reach of children.
10. Medicine and cleaning chemicals. Keep vitamin or medicine bottles tightly closed and stored in a high cabinet far from reach. Make sure that cleaning supplies are locked out of the reach of children. Install safety latches on all cabinet doors.
11. Dirty faucet heads. Kitchen and bath faucets often have built-in screens to spray the water evenly. Unfortunately, dirt and other contaminates can build up on these and, possibly, affect the quality of the water. Clean faucet heads regularly.
Being diligent about home safety takes a little more time, but if it prevents one injury or illness, it is worth the effort.
Originally published in Canada Realty News