Monday, January 8, 2018

Your Home Could Be A Health Hazard- Take These Steps to Put it Right!

You might think that your home is a place of comfort and protection against the world- but actually the average home can be something of a death trap! It’s no secret that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else- that’s at work, in public and on the roads combined! Our homes can also be the source of many serious health issues, for this reason it’s important not to get too complacent and do what you can do make your property as safe as possible. And the start of a new year, what better time to go about it! Here’s how you can keep yourself and your family as safe as possible at home.



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Be Aware of Slipping, Tripping and Falling
There’s a reason why slipping, tripping and falling feature so heavily in any employer’s health and safety training. These are some of the most common accidents, the same applies to the home too. Wet floors after mopping can be a slipping hazard, and loose carpet or a mess on the floor can cause serious trips. This can lead to major accidents such as falling down stairs, hitting your head, pulling muscles or breaking bones. In the elderly this is particularly dangerous, older adults tend to have weaker bones and things like hip fractures can cause sever problems.  This can often cause permanent problems.  Make sure carpets and floor coverings are properly secured, and floors and walkways should be clear of messes, shoes, kids toys, anything that could cause someone to trip over them. Create a routine when you come home where shoes, coats, bags and umbrellas are all put away properly in a cupboard rather than being left out.

Get Rid of Black Mold
One of the biggest health hazards at home is the presence of black mould. It develops quickly especially in the colder months. When walls and windows are cold from outside then warm air and moisture from inside (cooking, baths, even just breathing) touches it you’re left with wet surfaces which is the perfect condition for mold. This stuff can grow behind furniture so you might not even be aware of it until you pull things like beds and wardrobes back. But it releases spores which can cause respiratory problems, these are bad enough for the average person but anyone who is vulnerable due to their health, medical conditions or allergies can really suffer. Have an extractor fan installed in kitchens and bathrooms to remove most of the steam. Get into the habit of regularly opening windows to air out the house- even on cold days. It’s so worth it to avoid the build up of mold, plus your home will generally feel fresher too. If you already have mold growing, use an antifungal cleaner- you can find these in most DIY stores. Next time you redecorate, use anti mold paint in the rooms that are worst hit to prevent it completely.

Tell Pests to Bug Off
Not only are pests creepy and unpleasant to be around, but they can also pose a real issue to health. Rodents can spread diseases like hantavirus that can be fatal to humans, and the urine and feces of both rodents and insects can cause respiratory issues too. Pests can affect any home, but keeping your place clean can help you notice the signs of infestation early and take action before it becomes too expensive. Keep food covered at all times, remove crumbs and residue from floors and surfaces and store the items in your pantry in glass jars. Having things like flour, grains, sugar, cereals, herbs and spices on hand is useful as a home cook, but these can be a feast for pests. If you store them in glass (use a label maker so you don’t forget what anything is) there’s no way pests can get inside, and everything will stay fresher for longer. Keep doors and windows shut on warm days when a lot of pests will be around, or you could buy a curtain designed to let the air into your home through the door but keep insects and pests out.

Invest in Fire Protection
Fire is one of the most dangerous and damaging things to happen to a home. A fire could quite literally destroy everything, including the lives of your loved ones so it’s crucial to protect against it. Smoke alarms on every floor are a given- make sure you’re regularly checking the battery. Go a step further by purchasing a number of fire extinguishers, make sure to check what each should be used for. For example, you should have a fire blanket in the kitchen since this will extinguish things like pan fires- where foam or water extinguishers will make it worse. Work out the risks in each room, and select the right extinguisher to combat it if a fire were to break out. Your chimney and fireplace should be scoped out by a professional such as Capitol Chimney to make sure there’s no debris or dangerous combustible deposits that could start a fire. Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of fires in the home, if you’re in an older house or somewhere the wiring hasn’t been looked at in a while, it’s worth calling out a professional. Some areas (or the entire thing) might need rewiring to bring it up to current safety standards.

Check Over Power Tools
Another way people can get seriously hurt at home is using power tools. Common sense is essential here, if you don’t have the skills or experience to manage these kinds of things then you’re much better calling a professional company to do the job. Follow safety precautions such as using eye and ear protection where necessary, and give all tools a regular check over. The cord should be free of damage, and tools should be stored somewhere they won’t get damp or potentially damaged. That way you reduce your chances of getting injured due to a power tool malfunctioning.


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What steps have you taken to ensure your house stays as safe and healthy as possible?

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