Your home should be an inviting, welcoming, safe place to get away from the world. Statistically, this is not the case. A 2006 home safety study indicated that 77% of all accidents occur in the home. This does not factor in toxins such as radon or illness caused by mold and other contaminants. The good news is, it is possible to make your home safer, and they are easy! Here are five key ways to make your home the safe place it should be.
1) Light it up.
Poor lighting is a key cause of injury, especially among elderly people. However, a dimly lit staircase or cluttered room can be a hazard for even the strongest, most able-bodied adults. Make sure high-traffic areas and storage spaces have plenty of high-quality incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Look for next-generation light bulbs that shed more light while expending less energy. Not only is your household less likely to get hurt, but your power bill will look better, too!
2) Lock up poisons and cleaning chemicals.
Think about your cleaner cabinet for a moment. Do you know which, if any, of those chemicals can be ingested safely by humans or pets? If you don’t, the safest course is to assume none of them can. Never leave these chemicals out, even “just for a minute,” when small children or pets are around. A tragedy only takes a minute. Make sure you have the Poison Control Center’s phone number handy in case you need it. Household chemicals include:
- compounds with bleach, such as Comet and Ajax;
- ammonia-based window cleaners;
- insect-killing sprays and powders;
- oven and kitchen cleaners;
- many kinds of plant fertilizer;
- and any kind of paint or automotive chemicals
3) Pick it up.
Leaving toys or other items strewn around the floor may be convenient, but it can create a severe fall hazard. Low or poor lighting combined with random objects scattered around account for the majority of injuries from falls in the home. Places to be particularly aware of are hallways, stairwells, and routes between the bathroom and the children’s rooms, in case you need to get to them quickly during the night.
4) Dry it out.
Black mold and its cousins love moist, warm areas like showers, bathtub fascia, basements and laundry areas. Painting these areas with mold-resistant paint is a good start, but drying them thoroughly any time you notice standing or sitting water will help prevent mold from growing in the first place. Basements are particularly prone to mold, especially when water pipes run through the area. Anytime you smell:
- a “stale” or “musty” odor you can’t place;
- a sharp decay scent;
you need to look for the following signs of mold.
- Areas of unusually high moisture
- Dark splotches appearing randomly on walls in high-moisture areas
- a moldy smell
5) Know the symptoms.
If you have identified any of these, or you or your family has begun suffering cold-like symptoms that don’t go away, you need to take action. Contact a mold mitigation contractor immediately. Mold and mildew cleanup is difficult, and cannot be stopped once it begins to grow in your home. It has to be removed by a qualified contractor.
For more information on how to make your home safer, please visit www.FirstProtector.com.