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Hidden Dangers in the Home

Posted by on 21st February 2012

 

derelict houseMany people consider their home to be the one place in which they’re completely safe, but what they don’t realise is that their home hides an abundance of hidden dangers.

If gone unnoticed, some of these can cause illness or worse, so it’s worth knowing what to look out for and what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Preventing illness

There are various issues that can arise within your home that can affect your health.

Anywhere where moisture can form, like in your bathroom or basement, is at risk of mould forming. If you become aware of a musty old smell that maybe you hadn’t previously noticed, it’s a big sign that you’ve got issues with mould.

It can form within 2 days or less, and the mould spores it gives off can cause symptoms similar to asthma. You might also find yourself suffering from allergic reactions that can include sneezing and itchy eyes. Mould can often form in places you wouldn’t normally see, like on the back or bottom of wooden furniture, so it’s worth checking out of the way places if you suspect mould there.

The easiest way to prevent mould is to keep your house well ventilated by opening your windows when you can, and trying to keep moisture down as much as possible.

Dust mites are another thing to be aware of as they can too cause symptoms similar to asthma and other allergies. Dust mites live in your bed, on the mattress and in the sheets. There’s no way to prevent dust mites completely, but you can protect yourself from them by using allergy covers over your mattress and pillows to form a barrier and it’s also a good idea to wash your sheets regularly, on a very high temperature.

Protecting children

The colourful packaging of cleaning products and sweet like shape and colour of medicines can attract the attention of little children while they’re exploring your house.

Protecting your children from playing with these items could be a matter of life or death. Many people place cleaning products under the sink, but it’s much safer to keep them and any medicines you have in a higher cabinet that your children can’t reach or get to.

Locking the cabinet and making sure as many of your medicines as possible have child-proof lids will only add to their safety. When you take any of these items out to use them, make sure you keep an eye on your children at the time, as they could take the opportunity while they can.

Be aware of things you can’t see

In your home there could things affecting your health that you can’t see. Invisible chemicals and gasses can cause lasting damage or worse if you don’t notice them in time.

New carpets will sometimes come with a chemical on them that is used in its creation. It’s called 4-PC; it’s normally the source of that ‘new carpet’ smell and it can cause headaches and shortness of breath. If you keep a room ventilated with the windows open as much as possible, the chemical should go away within a week but it is worth remembering if you’re having a new carpet installed.

Another one to look out for (although not literally) is the odourless and colourless gas carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening. Large amounts can cause confusion and impaired coordination and vision, as well as unconsciousness and possibly death. Even in low amounts it can still cause headaches and nausea.

Carbon monoxide can come from items that heat up like furnaces, fireplaces and heaters as it’s used to power them. The simplest way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide is to get a carbon monoxide detector fitted in your home. It’ll warn you if it detects the gas, as there’s no way to notice it yourself.

Your home can be a safe place if you make sure you’re aware of the possible noticeable or hidden dangers associated with it. They’re easy to protect against, especially now you know what some of them are.

Picture by David Hawgood at geograph.co.uk

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