“Home is where the heart is” as the old saying goes, and most people feel safest when in their own home. As they should, but have you thought about the safety hazards within a residential home that can go unnoticed by the untrained eye?
In this article, we’re going to examine the top 5 common safety hazards that all homeowners should be aware of for their well-being. By having a clear understanding of that hazardous signs to look out for, the better chance at risking any bodily harm to you and yours.
Radon is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally from within the earth. When Radon escapes the earth’s soil and heads into the atmosphere, it dissipates and causes little-to-no risk to humans. But, when radon seeps into your home through cracks in your foundation, it can be deadly.
Too much exposure to Radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer. And, it is especially dangerous to children as their vital organs are still developing. Actually, next to cigarettes, Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer. It is a safety hazard not to be taken lightly.
A trained professional can use special Radon testing equipment in your home to measure if there are unsafe levels of Radon collecting in your home. Ceiling up cracks in your foundation and other radon mitigation methods are employed to reduce the exposure to unsafe levels of Radon in your home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. More than 400 unintentional CO deaths not linked to fires are reported each year. Carbon Monoxide is found in fumes produced anytime fuel is burned in stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces.
What can be done about Carbon Monoxide?
Keeping a working carbon monoxide detector in your home is the first line of defense against this safety hazard. Always keep rooms with fuel-burning equipment well-ventilated. And, make sure your equipment and appliances get checked for vulnerabilities.
In data collected by the National Fire Protection Association NFPA from 2012 through 2016, electrical failures and malfunctions were the second leading cause of fires in the home. Only second to fires caused by unattended equipment. Of those electrical fires, 50% were caused by electrical distribution and lighting equipment.
It is estimated that home electrical fires account for 50,000+ fires each year. As well as approximately 500 deaths. The estimated property damage is more than $1.3 billion.
What can be done about Electrical Fires?
Have your electrical system checked only by licensed electricians. Do not overload electrical outlets. Be sure to make note of any buzzing, cracking, or dimming electrical circuits throughout your home. Make sure to test the batteries and keep your smoke detectors in working order.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. From 2016-2018 there were over 120+ deaths caused by floods each year. If you live in a flood-prone region with a high water table, you should have flood insurance. Flooding can occur from excessive snowmelt, torrential rain, or even a damaged pipe in the basement. Depending on the season, hurricanes and tropical storms can put much of the country at risk for flash flooding, which can do serious damage to your home and jeopardize your safety.
What can be done about flooding?
Home flooding (from precipitation) is an act of nature, so there’s nothing to be done to prevent it. But, there are precautionary measures homeowners can have it place in case natural flooding does occur in their region. A sump pump can help deal with excess water. Flood insurance is necessary to mitigate the costs of flood damage in high-risk flood zones.
Flooding related to old/malfunctioning water piping throughout the home can be prevented. Look for signs of wear like leaking pipes, and have a plumber service your home before it becomes a bigger issue.
Falls are one of the top causes of unintentional injuries in the United States. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually. These statistics affect adults and seniors far more than young adults or children.
What can be about falls?
For seniors that have trouble with balance and equilibrium, there are fall-prevention programs. These programs help them be more aware of their bodies and how to take preventative measures for falling.
Removing hazards from stairwells, hallways, and anyplace where there is foot traffic can help to reduce the risk of falls. Never stand on a table to gain access to a higher area, always use a secure ladder.
Whether moving into a new home or performing work on your current home, the best way to reduce risk and lower the chances of bodily harm is to prevent safety hazards before they manifest in your home.
Our professional home inspectors have decades of experience. They will spot the signs of potential safety hazards in your home. They will leave no stone unturned and point out all the vulnerabilities you may have as a homeowner.
Please contact us to learn more about our residential home inspection services.