10 Possible Health Risks And Hazards In The Home And How To Avoid Them
There is a range of potential risks to your health and safety in the home that must be appropriately managed. Whether you’ve recently welcomed your first child, are nearing retirement or just want to live the healthiest life possible, it is crucial to ensure your home environment is optimal for your health.
It is a good idea to take inventory of your home to identify potential hazards and health risks. This article will explore some of the possible things to look out for and how to mitigate the risk.
1. Ensure Handrails Are Secure On Stairs
Falls are one of the most common health hazards in a home. There is a wide range of causes for trips and falls, and it is a good idea to ensure that the walkways of your home are clear of any items you might trip over.
You should also regularly check the handrails on your stairs to ensure they are secure and sturdy. While a fall on a flat surface can present its own risks, a fall down stairs can be even more dangerous for adults and children alike. If your handrails require repairing, ensure it is done as quickly as possible.
2. Invest In Clear Outdoor Lighting
Falls outdoors can often be more dangerous than falls indoors. This is because you are more likely to fall on stone or concrete outdoors, which can cause worse injury compared to falling on wood or carpeting indoors. Clear outdoor lighting for your front and back yards can be beneficial to ensure you don’t fall outside. You should pay particular attention to outdoor stairs. Solar paneled lighting can be helpful as a way to light up pathways and stairs.
3. Use Anti-Slip Tape On Slippery Surfaces
If you have stairs or flooring in a slippery surface, using anti-slip tape can be an excellent way to prevent slips that could lead to falls and injury. You can get an anti-slip tape from most DIY or hardware stores or find some online to be delivered to your door. You can also get anti-slip mats and rugs if you have large spaces of slippery surfaces.
4. Include A Full-Length Bath Mat
Falling in the bath or shower is another common concern in the home. A full-length bath mat can reduce the risk of falls, which can be beneficial for older adults and children in particular. It is also helpful for people who use many slippery products in the shower, such as deep conditioning treatments, that can leave the bath more slippery than usual.
You should ensure you clean the bath mat regularly and hang it up to dry when not in use. This can prevent dirt or mold from building up on the mat.
5. Get Your Home Checked For Mold
If you have noticed symptoms of chronic illness but have been unable to determine a cause, mold could be the culprit. You can find out more about the symptoms in Dr. Ruscio’s guide to mold toxicity which can help you identify whether you need to have your home checked for mold.
It is a good idea to find a reputable professional to check your home for mold and causes of mold like water damage. If mold is identified, you will need to hire a mold clean-up expert to ensure the mold is removed in its entirety. It is also a good idea to find alternative accommodation until the mold has been properly removed.
6. Install Fire Alarms Throughout Your Home
Fire alarms are a crucial way to prevent fires in your home. If you rent your home, it will usually be your landlord’s responsibility to provide suitable fire alarms, but you may need to maintain these and replace batteries when necessary.
If you own your home, you will need to ensure there are fire alarms throughout. It is a good idea to have at least one alarm on each floor of your property and one in the kitchen. You should also invest in carbon monoxide detectors on each floor.
7. Avoid Using Candles
Candles are a common cause of fires in the home, so it is best to avoid them entirely if you are concerned about the risk. If you have children or pets, this can increase the risk posed by candles. Instead of scented candles, you could use reed diffusers or room sprays. If you want the attractive appearance of lit candles without the fire hazard, you could invest in battery-powered candles instead.
8. Know When To Replace Your Mattress And Pillows
It is essential to know when to replace your mattresses and pillows. Over time, these items can build up significant amounts of dust that can, in turn, aggravate allergies, skin conditions and other health issues. You may also experience back, neck or other physical pain if your mattress and pillows no longer provide the support you need.
It is a good rule of thumb to replace your mattress every six to eight years or more regularly if you notice it no longer gives you the best level of support. You should replace pillows every two years.
9. Maintain Good Home Hygiene To Avoid Pests
A clean home is critical to avoid pests and mold. You should store your trash correctly and avoid allowing it to pile up, creating an attractive environment for pests to gather. Ensure that you clear up food spills in the home to prevent attracting pests like ants or flies. You should also dispose of expired food promptly and avoid letting dirty dishes pile up. If you have a compost heap, ensure this is well sealed so that pests cannot reach it.
10. Ensure Your Home Is Well Ventilated
Ventilation is crucial to improve your home’s air quality and reduce the chances of mold growing in your home. Mold thrives in hot, humid conditions, so you should ensure you crack a window on hot days or when you are drying laundry in the home.
You should use an extractor fan when cooking to prevent the buildup of steam in the kitchen which can create an environment for mold to grow. It can help to use screens on your windows to prevent insects from entering when ventilating your home. You could also invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.