When it comes to the hazards around your home the danger music of JAWS can sometimes be heard. Just like the big shark, you know the hazards are there but when and where they will surface has you on edge.
There’s no need to fear however, as the safety issues around your home can often easily and inexpensively be resolved. To make sure you are doing all you can to maintain a safe home environment, here are some of the most common hazards in your home and the things you can do to avoid injury.
You can slip on a wet floor after a shower or fall down a flight of stairs; injuries due to falls around the home would have to be the most common household hazard.
If you want to prevent falls at home look to remove anything that could cause you to trip or slip while walking. That means clutter, small furniture, pet bowls, electrical or phone cords need to be tidied up. Additionally slipping or tripping on rugs and slick floors can also cause you damage, so be sure carpets are secured on floors and steps and try and avoid accidents on wet floors by cleaning up water pools and other spills as soon as they occur.
2. Fire hazards
Enjoy burning candles? Did you remember to turn off the iron after your last use? These things and more can lead to an accidental house fire starting in your home.
To reduce the risk, check your fire alarms have been installed in appropriate locations and are regularly checked so that you’ll have adequate warning in the unfortunate event that there is a fire.
Avoid leaving candles unattended in your home, and especially keep them away from loose clothes like curtains, pillows and throw rugs.
Be sure that your appliances are in good working order and look to replace them if they aren’t. Do you best to avoid overloading electrical outlets, and get into the habit of unplugging small appliances (like your toaster for example) if they aren’t in use.
3. Sharp objects
The danger here should be obvious. Most sharp objects around the house can be found either in the kitchen or out in the yard somewhere.
Accidents with kitchen knives or graters have led to nasty cuts, some of which require stitches, so to be sure you reduce the risk of cutting yourself store sharp objects in a secure location. If you have small hands (i.e. grandchildren) about the home you might even want to consider locking them away.
In your yard look for rakes (the metal variety), saws and lawn mowers, which all present a potential threat. Again, you want to get into the habit of cleaning up your tools after use and storing them away appropriately to avoid any harm to you or your loved ones.
4. Burns and scalds
While the risk of severe accidents from burns and scalds is lower than other demographic groups, when a burn does occur it can be fatal for those aged over 60 years. The main sources of heat resulting in burns include stoves and cookers, heaters and fireplaces. Scald accidents most commonly occur when kettles are used.
Gases, especially carbon monoxide and pipe gas, are cause of accidental poisoning if you are aged 60 years or older. The other major cause of poisoning is with medicines and people taking more than the recommended amount.
To reduce your risk of poisoning, have an expert regularly check any fuel burning devices in your home, if you have a chimney or flue get it cleaned at least once a year.
As for your medicine, always read the instructions about dose and make yourself aware of the dangers should you exceed the prescribed amount.