Stay Safe at Home: Common Hazards and Prevention Tips
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
Common home hazards
How they happen
How to prevent them
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
Common home hazards
How they happen
How to prevent them
“Home.” Doesn’t that word just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Home is, after all, where the heart is (we’re not exactly who to credit with that famous line, but that doesn’t make it any less true).
But what if our homes don’t feel so safe? According to the National Safety Council, 52.5 million medically consulted injuries and 175,500 preventable deaths occurred inside homes and communities in 2021. Creating a safe home environment should always be a top priority, and luckily, preventing safety hazards is no insurmountable task.
You and your family worked hard for your home, so you deserve peace of mind inside your humble abode’s walls. Here’s our list of common home hazards and how to address them.
One common home hazard is the outbreak of fire or flames. More than 1,500 people had died in home fires through September 2023, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Flames spreading from a neglected candle or third-degree burns from a cooking fire are dangers we often overlook as we go about our days at home.
Fire property damage is also costly. Prevent fire damage by being attentive in any situation involving fire within your home. Keep candles out of the reach of small children and away from flammable furniture. (Flameless candles are a safer option!)
And don’t leave a burning stove or plugged-in hair styling tools unattended for too long. If something needs your immediate attention, turn off the appliance first. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potential fires.
Be prepared for fires by installing smoke detectors around your home and testing their batteries once a month. Keeping a fire extinguisher handy in rooms like the kitchen, living room, and garage is also never a bad idea. Try these tips for fireplace safety.
As you know, babies and toddlers should never go unsupervised near water in our homes. Drowning in swimming pools or baths is one of the leading causes of death among young children, particularly those aged one to four, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For children between the ages of five and fourteen, drowning is second only to vehicle crashes as the cause of injury or death.
As for adults, drowning is a threat to any person, regardless of age. That's why it's crucial to fence off your pool properly, with a self-latching gate, so children, family members, and pets can't wander out into the deep end. Cover your hot tub when it's not in use or when an adult is not present, and – as tempting as it might be – don't take a "quick dip" if under the influence of alcohol.
Check your pool's drain cover often. A faulty cover's suction can entrap even a full-grown adult.
Even from minimal heights, falling at home can result in broken bones or significant head injuries. Falls are the second-leading cause of home injuries across all age groups, most common for young children and adults over 60.
A safety gate to block off staircases from wandering babies and soft mats under playgrounds, trampolines, and play equipment will cushion your child’s impact should they fall. And remind your kids to put their toys away when playtime is over. Leaving them out on the floor is a tripping threat for everyone (not to mention stepping on those Legos! Ouch!).
Kids want to ride their bikes? Make sure they wear properly fitted, safety-certified helmets.
And for older adults, we’ve all seen those sensational medical alert system commercials about falling and being unable to get up, but they're truly a great way to safeguard against this common home hazard.
Today’s technology means seeking protection through a smartwatch or neck pendant, not to mention an indoor camera monitoring system.
But as a general rule, dry floors, non-slip rubber mats in your kitchen and bathrooms, and ample lighting on all staircases can reduce falling risks considerably.
Remember how we said falling was our homes' second leading cause of injury? Well, as of a few years ago, poison now takes the top spot on the list.
Younger children can open cabinets they're not supposed to and get into cleaning supply chemicals or take too many "candy-like" vitamins and medicines. Meanwhile, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can occur in any home if proper precautionary steps aren't taken first.
Poison-proof your home by keeping cleaning supplies, personal care products, medicine, detergent, paints, pesticides, and other chemicals on high shelves or cabinets, and put a safety lock on the door. You might as well throw in spare batteries, too, as children can accidentally swallow and choke on them. Next, install and regularly check CO detectors on every floor of your home. CO is virtually undetectable, but a working alarm will alert you when CO is reaching dangerous levels.
Choking and Suffocation
Choking and suffocation can happen to anyone at any age. Plus, there’s only a small window of time to help before the worst occurs.
Prevent choking at home by cutting food into small, fingertip-size pieces, allowing plenty of time for meals, and never rushing those eating. Offer children only a few pieces of food at a time, since they’re the most susceptible to a clogged trachea.
Suffocation victims, usually young children, get their airways obstructed by an external object. Child locks on airtight spaces like fridges and freezers and storing your plastic bags in an out-of-reach cabinet will cut down on harmful situations.
As for protecting infants, keep blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and plush toys outside of the crib during naptime.
As much as we love spending time with our infants, sharing a bed with other children or adults can be a smothering hazard.
There are more than two million burglaries a year in the U.S. alone, according to the FBI, occurring close to every 30 seconds. So, how can we protect our castles from unlawful entry?
Well, analyzing recurring trends in home theft is a good place to start. ADT, a leader in home protection, says most break-ins occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. As opposed to seeking cover in the dark of night, burglars tend to do their dirty deeds in the daytime, when they expect the house to be empty.
It may also surprise you to learn that data from the U.S. Department of Justice suggests most burglaries occur during the summertime months.
Home Safety Technology
From smart doorbells to programmable thermostats, today’s technology offers many simple solutions for keeping your home safe and sound.
At Atlantic Bay, lending peace of mind to the home loan process is our niche. That’s why we provide additional services to enhance our borrowers’ homebuying experience.
Whether you’ve closed your loan with us or are in the process of doing so, we want you to protect your newest investment from...well...any of the hazards mentioned above and beyond! Atlantic Bay Borrowers can take advantage of a series of perks through our exclusive partnership with Safe Haven Security, an ADT Authorized Dealer.
For more information on Safe Haven Security, reach out today!
FOR SAFE HAVEN SECURITY:
Safe Haven ADT is not affiliated with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. Atlantic Bay may have a financial interest in services contracted from provider. There is no requirement to use the service provider listed. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Not a commitment to lend. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Located at 600 Lynnhaven Parkway Suite 100 Virginia Beach, VA 23452