How to Identify and Eliminate Top Home Safety Hazards Before They Wreak Havoc on Your Health
If you’re like most people, you likely feel the safest in the comfort of your own home. Yet, depending on the age and condition of the structure, your house may pose a significant risk to your health. This is especially true if it contains common yet often undetectable (at least to the untrained eye) safety hazards. Read on to learn how to detect these hazards before they begin to wreak havoc on your health.
Poor Air Quality
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, most adults spend 90% of their time inside and take an average of 20,000 breaths indoors per day. Yet, according to studies, the air inside most homes contains more pollutants than the outdoor air, even in the most industrialized cities. Polluted indoor air contributes to several health problems, including allergies, asthma, and some illnesses.
There are a few ways to determine if your indoor air quality is bad. First, look for common symptoms of air pollution in your body, such as shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, irritation, dizziness, and fatigue. You can also use an air quality monitor, which often costs less than $100, or invest in professional air quality testing from RTK Environmental Group.
A residential fire occurs every 66 seconds in the United States. Fires are a very real hazard, which is why it is crucial to take measures to prevent infernos. The top causes of residential fires include grills, faulty wiring, Christmas trees, electrical appliances, unattended stovetops, lighting, heat sources, and smoking.
You can prevent many house fires by keeping flammable materials away from heat and remaining vigilant when cooking or grilling. Have professionals inspect your wiring and heat systems annually, as issues may lie unseen beneath the surface.
Roof leaks can lead to significant structural issues, such as damage to the ceiling, rafters, and walls. They also encourage mold growth, which can wreak havoc on your health and comfort. Unfortunately, many roof leaks are difficult to identify until they become substantial, which is why you should invest in annual roof inspections. If you had a leak, you should test for mold to avoid a bigger problem.
If a leak does necessitate roof repair or replacement, the cost of the job will depend largely on the roofing materials you need, labor costs, and the size of your roof. Do not try to cut corners by hiring amateur roofers. Instead, do a search for a “roof near me” and work with insured and certified roofers who are familiar with local building codes and permits and can do the job right the first time around.
Fall-related injuries are the most common household-related injuries that occur in the United States. Falls can result from loose floorboards, unsafe hand railings, slippery surfaces, wayward objects and other hazards. Take a few days to inspect your home for tripping hazards and correct them.
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. CO2 poisoning is easily preventable with carbon monoxide detectors, which alert you to the gas’s presence in your home.
If your home was built during or before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos, a lung-cancer-causing agent. If you discover this material in your home, don’t panic, but do not disturb it either. Asbestos only becomes harmful once disturbed. Rather, contact a company that has experience in safe asbestos remediation. If you’re renovating and not sure if the materials you are planning to disturb is asbestos, have an asbestos test so you know what you are dealing with.
By knowing where common hazards lie in your home, you can take measures to eliminate them and keep your family safe. Ideally, you will invest in the help and equipment to identify the most common ones listed above.