Home Safety Hazards

Jodee Redmond
Oleander is a very poisonous plant.

Several home safety hazards exist that pose a threat to your family's health and security. Here are hazards you need to be aware of, along with suggestions for making your home a more secure location.

List of Home Safety Hazards

Criminal Activity

No one wants their home to be broken into and their property damaged or stolen, either when they are at home or away. To discourage thieves, take some basic safety precautions:

  • Install quality locks on doors and windows
  • Make a point of locking doors before you go out
  • Have your interior and exterior lights hooked up to a timer if you are going to be away overnight
  • Keep bushes and shrubs well trimmed, especially around doors and windows
  • Stop your mail and newspaper delivery if you are going on vacation

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Threats

The risk of fire is a serious threat to your family's safety and security. You should have a working smoke detector installed on every floor of your home, even if local bylaws do not require you to do so. Make a note on your calendar to change the batteries once a year and test the unit at regular intervals.Discuss a plan for getting out of the house quickly if a fire breaks out. Teach your children that their priority should be getting to safety and not stopping to retrieve any personal items. Practice crawling on your hands and knees (to avoid inhaling smoke). Arrange to meet at a specific location, such as a neighbor's home, if you need to get out of the house in a hurry.

A fire extinguisher is a good investment when it comes to dealing with this example of home safety hazards. Your local fire department will be able to tell you which model is the right one for your needs.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is another way you can help to keep your family safe around the house. This unit should be tested regularly and replaced promptly if you have concerns about it. Likewise, make an appointment to have your furnace inspected and cleaned once a year.

Poisons and Hazardous Materials

Storing cleaning products, paints and other poisonous substances in a location out of reach of children and pets is a good idea. It may be a bit inconvenient to stop and unlock the cabinet when you want to access them, but the effort is worth it to keep your family safe. If you know or suspect that your child or pet has swallowed something poisonous, contact the Poison Control Center for help immediately. The label on the container will provide you with valuable information about the ingredients it contains, as well as first aid instructions.

Household plants can also be a hazard. Some of them, such as the dieffenbachia, oleander trees, calla lilies, and poinsettias, may cause painful mouth irritations if the leaves are ingested. The oleander is especially toxic, since chewing one leaf can be fatal for a young child or a pet.

Choking Hazards

Many materials around the house present choking hazards to children, and you need to be on the lookout for them. Toys with small pieces can be a hazard, and buttons or snaps may come off clothing items and be swallowed by young children. Coins should be kept out of each of children.

Food as a Choking Hazard

Making a point of sitting down and chewing food thoroughly goes a long way toward decreasing the risk that you will choke during a meal. Young children should be encouraged to adopt this practice as well. Teach them that mealtime is for eating, and they shouldn't be trying to play, laugh, or talk while trying to chew.

Home Safety Hazards