Wherever you are, hazards are present. The Cambridge Dictionary defines hazard as something that can potentially harm a person or damage property. Princeton states that a hazard can come in different forms — a condition, an activity, or an agent. These can potentially cause injury and illness and even the loss of property.
As hazards abound inside and outside our homes, personal security matters. To keep yourself secure, it is important to recognize potential hazards that may be present in and around your home.
Different home hazards
It is important to recognize potential hazards because even the smallest things that we often neglect may prove fatal, especially for children and older people at home.
Trip and fall hazards
The World Health Organization mentions that falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths around the world. It is also one of the most common home accidents that lead to death. Hence, trip and fall hazards around the home should be taken seriously. They must be immediately eliminated.
To minimize the risks of these hazards, two areas at home should be focused on: the staircase and the bathroom.
For staircases, it is best to install safety gates to prevent kids from accidentally falling. Installing the proper amount of lighting is also essential to make sure everybody sees each step. Proper maintenance of the handrails and steps is needed so everybody, especially people who need support climbing up and down, is kept safe.
To keep older adults safe, it is best to install stairlifts. Otherwise, having a bungalow home will work better for the elderly. This will dramatically reduce the risk of falls among older adults.
Bathrooms are always slippery because, chances are, it is always wet. It also depends on the material used on the bathroom floor. If you have a tiled bathroom floor, this is an immediate hazard to slips and falls.
Hence, changing the material of your bathroom floor can reduce the risk of falls. Having a bathroom tile with more friction, for instance, can help. Installing rubber mats or putting a towel on slippery surfaces can also reduce the risk of falls in the bathroom.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poison is a substance that causes serious injuries, illness, or death in severe cases. There are different ways for the poison to enter the body; they can be through inhalation, swallowing, or skin absorption.
When a large amount of poison enters the body, it can be toxic and lethal. At home, children are most prone to taking in toxic substances because of exploratory behaviour. To prevent your child from suffering from poisoning, different measures can be observed.
Keep harmful substances out of reach of children. Put cleaning products in lower cupboards with child locks or higher cupboards. Store paints and pesticides in a locked storage room or high shelves. As a safety precaution, have a poison control centre number stored in your mobile phone in case of poisoning.
Over 3,000 Americans die each year due to fire hazards. At home, several sources of fire are present.
Electrical fire hazard
Electrical problems cause fires at home. To ensure that your home is safe from fire hazards, a well-maintained electrical system is necessary. To alert you and the entire household from fires, a smoke detector must be installed. Make sure that these detectors are also maintained, and batteries are replaced twice a year.
A home alarm system is also helpful in the event of a fire. It can alert you, as well as the local fire department. This is necessary in case people in the household suffer from incapacitation due to smoke inhalation. Additionally, have your electrical wiring system tested by a professional electrician.
A kitchen is also a source of fire as this is where the family usually cooks its meals. To be safe, never leave an open fire unattended. In case the pan catches fire, quickly use a damp towel. Do not attempt to put the fire out with water, which may also cause serious injuries and burns.
To keep children safe from burns, always use the back burner of a stove so that they cannot reach the fire. Face the panhandles inward to prevent children from accidentally grabbing them.
Miscellaneous fire hazards
During Christmas, households are also prone to catching fire due to Christmas lights. As a precaution, always switch off the Christmas lights when going to sleep at night. Smokers need to make sure that the cigarette fire is extinguished properly. Also, never leave a candle while sleeping.
Being aware of all these hazards and taking the necessary precautionary measures may save you and your family’s life. Don’t gamble everyone’s safety; be prepared for anything.