(AscendHealthy.com) – No home is accident-proof. We run the risk of injury, home destruction or even death from any number of causes just by getting up and pushing through each day. Even commonplace household fixtures we use all the time may be dangerous in the right settings. We’ve found a few that deserve special caution.
See How Your Household Could Be In Danger.
Many of us use them every day, but staircases can be a real danger — especially for families with young children or people with mobility issues. About 1,600 people die falling down stairs every year, according to an Insider report. Make sure all staircases are well-lit and have secure steps and railings to reduce the likelihood of accidents.
Gas Stove or Heater
Natural gas is a cheap and effective way to heat the home or food, but it might come with the risk of gas leaks. Gas stoves and heaters are sometimes the cause of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills about 430 people and sends another 50,000 to the emergency room each year. Consumer Reports recommends having a carbon monoxide detector installed to protect against this threat.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, US residents see an average of 160 Christmas tree fires each year, along with over $10 million in property damage. At least three people die in these fires annually, the majority of which start due to lighting or other electrical problems. Trees that aren’t watered regularly enough are the most likely to catch fire; the dryer they are, the more dangerous they can be.
We depend on these convenient appliances to clean and sanitize our dishes, so it’s reasonable to expect them to stay relatively clean. Many people are unaware that dishwashers require regular maintenance to keep from becoming reservoirs for microbes.
Not all bacteria and fungi can survive the high temperatures and detergents that make such a harsh environment, but some of the strains that do can contaminate dishes and cause serious illness. Howstuffworks recommends routinely cleaning out the filter and running a vinegar or cleaning rinse to keep it clean.
StaySafe also suggests loading knives and forks with the sharp edges facing downward to reduce chances of accidental cuts or punctures.
Little invaders from outside can damage the home and sometimes even cause disease in humans. Springfield Healthy Homes list some of the most common threats:
- Bed bugs are tiny, wingless insects that live on blood. They can survive for months without feeding and quickly infest mattresses and bedding. People can have varying reactions to their bites.
- Cockroaches love kitchens and bathrooms, although they’ll congregate anywhere that’s dark and cluttered. Their waste can cause health issues in humans and may worsen asthma symptoms.
- Dust mites are another big asthma risk. These microscopic creatures live off dead skin cells, so they can easily infest pillows, beds, sofas and numerous other soft surfaces.
- Rodents leave urine, feces and dander wherever they go, distributing allergens and, depending on region, diseases like hantavirus.
Protect the home by keeping it clean, free of clutter and uninviting to pests. Use traps and baits before resorting to dangerous pesticides.
We might not see them, but mold spores are everywhere. They float in through open windows and doors, and they can hitchhike in using us and our pets. According to the CDC, most molds can take hold of any material that can carry moisture; paper, wood, drywall, wallpaper, insulation, upholstery and most fabrics make perfect growing materials.
Some people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others, with asthma sufferers being especially vulnerable to respiratory symptoms. Keep ventilation and humidity levels controlled to reduce risks.
Most homes built before 1978 have lead paint on their walls, warns the EPA. Chips and dust from worn paint can pose health hazards to all family members, most especially to children. Exposure can cause problems in behavior and learning, lower IQ and other developmental issues. Pregnant women run the risk of stillbirth; the baby may also be born prematurely or with damage to vital organs. Keep homes well maintained and dust-free to minimize potential exposure.
The dangers are out there, and no home is immune. Being proactive is the best way to protect against these and other threats. A few preventative measures now could decrease the risks to residents, their homes and property down the road.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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