Whether you recently moved into a new house or you have been living in your home for a while, it’s important to be aware of some of the dangers that can be lurking in plain sight. Even in the best-kept house, there are a number of potential safety hazards that you may encounter. Below we explore four things to keep in mind.
Install and Maintain Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Low levels of carbon monoxide in the home can cause dizziness and headaches, while higher levels can leave you feeling nauseous, impair your vision, and even potentially kill you. This toxic gas is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Protect yourself against exposure by having fully functioning CO detectors and performing yearly maintenance of your HVAC system. These are a few of the common household items that can produce carbon monoxide:
• Wood and gas stoves
• Gas water heaters
Test for Mold
Molds love to grow in dark and humid areas of your home, like under sinks, in bathrooms and near plumbing. They’re often discovered when they’re making someone sick or causing a foul smell in your home. By then, it’s often too late to fix the problem without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars.
Mold exposure can make your family sick, weaken the structural integrity of your home, and in extreme cases, it can make your home unlivable. What’s worse, a 2013 study found that 100% of all the homes that were tested had a variety of mold living in it. Thankfully it wasn’t always the dangerous kind.
It’s a good practice to be mindful of mold and keep an eye out around humid areas that might be susceptible to mold growth. It can also be beneficial to have a home professionally tested for mold every few years, ensuring you’ll catch any a potentially serious problem before it’s out of hand.
Replace Broken Electrical Outlet Panels
Outlets are such an important part of modern living that it can be easy to forget they carry a current of 120 volts of potentially deadly electricity. While most of the time this dangerous current is insulated behind the outlet cover, this flimsy piece of plastic can easily break and give you a nasty shock.
As outlet covers crack, they can expose the metal contact points underneath. A broken outlet cover is a serious fire and safety hazard that should be replaced right away. Not only can electrical outlets start fires, but they can also result in an arc flash, which can be equally deadly.
Inspect Your Home for Hazardous Material
Equally dangerous and much harder to detect are hazardous materials that can hide in the most unexpected places. Lead, asbestos, and radon can host of health problems, like brain damage, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Worse, they are virtually impossible to identify without specialized equipment and can be found in many houses around the country. The only way to know if your home has any of these toxins is to have it professionally inspected.
The good news is that most of the side effects attributed to these dangers can be avoided with the proper precautions, and it’s never too late to have your home checked.