Identifying & Preventing 4 Common Home Safety Hazards
Little dangers can be found around the home or have the potential to pop up without any notice by the occupants. These common home hazards can be avoided or resolved with insight and a willingness to spend time on preventive maintenance and precautions. Here are a few potential home dangers that are often overlooked.
VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds Abound in Homes
VOCs can't be seen or smelled, and they don't make their presence known. These compounds sneak into homes in the form of furnishings, plastics, paint, carpeting, and other common items in a dwelling. Over time, the VOCs will break down into a caustic gas that can negatively impact indoor air quality and result in respiratory problems, sinus conditions, sore throat, headaches, and other issues.
There are several no- and low-VOC paints and other products available on the market today. Homeowners or potential buyers will likely need to have a professional inspect installations like carpet and paint to determine the presence of VOCs. However, newer constructions tend to use only VOC-free or low-VOC products.
CO2 is odorless, clear, and tasteless, making it impossible to detect by senses alone. However, CO2 is on the decline due to greater public awareness and the availability of affordable detection devices.
CO2 detectors are often integrated into smoke alarm systems, and some can be connected to smart technology for even greater protection. Basic devices can be purchased for around $30. With smart systems costing more, auto alerts to owners and fire responders make them a solid investment in home safety.
Radon: Rarely Considered, But It's Likely in the Home
Another colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that hardly gets much attention is radon, a naturally occurring gas that is present in most homes to some degree. Radon seeps into structures through wall joints, foundations, pipes, and other small openings that are often necessary for structural integrity and functionality.
Radon in small amounts isn't generally harmful, but higher levels of the gas are carcinogenic to animals and humans. There are at-home test kits readily available. If high levels are detected, mitigation efforts can be taken such as sealing foundation cracks or ramping up ventilation in affected areas.
Home Fire Hazards Are Often Forgotten
It is common knowledge that fireplaces, gas appliances, unextinguished candles and cigarettes, and ovens can be primary sources of home fires. However, there are also fire hazards in the home that many people never think about.
One of these fire starters is excessive dryer lint, which gets deeply embedded below and behind screens and should be cleaned routinely. Additionally, electrical outlet overloads are a huge source of home fires. Plugging too many things into one source or using old gadgets with fraying cords can be risky. Experts recommend unplugging unused devices when possible to prevent shortages, should power surges occur unexpectedly.
Get the Professionals to Help Identify Any Hidden Home Hazards
With these home safety hazards in mind, it may be wise for homeowners to call in an experienced home contractor or inspector to assist in identifying any unseen risks that threaten the wellbeing of occupants and guests.