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5 Common Domestic Dangers and How to Defend Against Them

When many people think about dangers in the world, their first thoughts are usually of major external dangers like distracted drivers, muggers, thieves, man-made or natural disasters. Yet a wide variety of dangers exist on the domestic front in or near your home. The risk of harm from these dangers actually increases based on human behavior. Consider the following common domestic dangers and the easy ways that you can defend against them going forward:

Slips, Trips, and Falls

These hazards can usually do some damage to your knees or back. To prevent a serious injury a slip, trip or fall, you typically only need to use greater caution and follow safety standards. For example, never try to walk on wet floors and walkways. Invest in rug tape or slip-resistant backing to anchor small area rugs to floors or get rid of them entirely. Invest in some non-slip shoes if you know you’re going to be working on wet floors. Use long, curved, bumper-style plastic covers to hide wires and cables that run along floors. When using a ladder for any reason, ask someone to hold it as you move up or down. If you’re using a tall ladder outdoors or need to inspect your home’s roof, use a safety harness as well. Most importantly, keep floors and stairs clear of toys, newspapers and any other items that might cause you or a loved one to trip and then fall.

Burns and Fires

It only takes a second to suffer a serious burn while performing some action at home. Also, people often act in risky ways or ignore the warning signs of fire-related threats that can make a house go up in flames. If you love to cook, use mitten style pot holders that reach half-way up the forearm to protect against burns that occur from accidental bumps against the inside top or side of an oven. Never leave food cooking in stove-top pots, candles or cigarettes or cigars unattended. Install smoke alarms. If a smoke alarm has a bad battery, replace it. Never wait to get to it later when you have more time. Additionally, hire an electrician to check the wiring in your home at least once a year to protect against fires that happen from old, sparking wires.

Electrical Discharges

Far to often, people don’t think enough about the danger of an electrical discharge and then suffer a shock, burn or major skin or internal injury because of contact with electricity. To defend against electrical discharges, stay away from windows, keep your hands out of water and don’t touch metal or electrical devices during thunderstorms. Never allow light switches or sockets or electrical sockets to remain broken, especially if you smell burning plastic or hear a snapping or cracking sound. With electrical wiring, outlets, panels and lighting fixtures, turn to a professional electrician to handle major rewiring and repair projects. Don’t touch bare wires with your hands unless you’re wearing protective gloves. Also, use child-safe, plug-in safety caps or covers on unused outlets to protect curious pets and toddlers.

Animal and Pest Bites

Some people worry more about accidental cuts than they do about bites even though animal and pest bites can ultimately cause more long-term health problems. Dogs and wild animals can carry rabies or fleas that contain disease Fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and ticks can also transmit other blood-borne diseases that cause a wide range of symptoms, including hearing loss, debilitation and even a shorter lifespan. Spider and snake venom can cause tissue necrosis. You can defend against bites when you’re indoors and outdoors. Always maintain a safe distance from domestic and wild animals when running errands or walking in your neighborhood. If you own a cat or dog, check it regularly for pests even if it stays indoors. In addition, keep your home clean at all times: small rodents and insects love to hide in dark and dirty spots.

Substance Abuse

Adults and children who abuse drugs or alcohol often do so in secret. The best way to defend against these problems is to address the potential for drug and alcohol addiction with young children through educational discussions about the dangers of substance abuse. Never say one thing and do another in relation to these substances and make certain that visitors, such as family members who live elsewhere, friends and coworkers, stick to your house rules. It’s also important to maintain a regular presence in the daily lives of your loved ones to reduce the risk of their turning to drugs or alcohol to deal with loneliness, sadness or similar feelings. As soon as you see a problem with a child or adult, immediately seek professional help.

Many other domestic dangers exist that can disrupt and possibly ruin your life and ultimately cost you some money. Most of the time, it might just be your fault or a genuine accident- though in certain situation, you could be in the right to claim personal injury and take some legal action. This would probably only be in situations that occur due to someone else’s negligence, but we encourage you do research on it if it happens and you believe that is the case. And if you do come across significant financial setbacks, there are programs and services that can help you recuperate in other parts of your life if you find yourself unable to pay bills or other necessities due to medical and property expenses.

That said, preparing against most of them isn’t at all difficult. You merely need to remove hazards, practice situational awareness and utilize safety tools and professionals, as needed.

References:

SF Gate

Mass.Gov

Craig Swapp

American Addiction Centers

Family Handyman

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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