As a homeowner, keeping your family safe is of the utmost importance. While you may be aware of the more obvious dangers, such as leaving a hot stove on or storing cleaning products out of reach of children, there are some lesser-known risks that can cause harm to your family if not addressed. Read on for four surprising dangers lurking in your home that you may not be aware of.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced by fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces and stoves. If these appliances are not properly vented, they can release dangerous levels of CO into the air of your home, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of this poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and eventually death. To avoid CO poisoning in your home, be sure to install CO detectors near sleeping areas and have all fuel-burning appliances serviced regularly by a certified technician.
Lead Paint Exposure
Lead paint was widely used before its health risks were discovered in the 1970s. If you live in an older home, it’s important to be aware of the potential for lead exposure due to deteriorating paint surfaces. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure since their bodies absorb it more easily than adults. Even very low levels of lead exposure can cause permanent damage to the brain and other organs. To reduce lead exposure risk in your home, it’s a good idea to have the home inspected and have any chipping or peeling paint surfaces professionally remediated or removed immediately by someone certified to do so safely.
Mold growth can occur anywhere moisture lingers for extended periods, especially in basements and bathrooms, and poses serious health risks when breathed in over long periods. Mold spores are also common triggers for asthma attacks and allergic reactions in both children and adults alike. To avoid mold growth in your home, you should try to keep humidity levels below about 50% using fans and dehumidifiers where necessary and make sure a professional plumber quickly repairs all water leaks.
If there is a mold outbreak in your home, it’s important to start the mold remediation process as quickly as possible. Mold removal is a complex process and should always be conducted by a certified mold remediation specialist. This professional will inspect the affected area to identify the extent of the problem, recommend the right course of action, and use specialized techniques to eradicate all traces of mold from your home.
Electrical hazards present serious safety risks no matter how old or new your home is. Faulty wiring or overloaded outlets can easily cause electrical fires if not addressed quickly by a certified electrician. To reduce the risk of electrical hazards in your home, have an electrician inspect all wiring annually and never plug multiple high-wattage devices into one outlet at once (e.g., hairdryers or curling irons).
Keeping your family safe at home requires vigilance on many fronts, not just those that immediately come to mind. Remembering these four lesser-known dangers lurking in your homes will help ensure that you stay ahead of potential risks so that you don’t have to worry about them harming those who matter most to you!