Even though your home seems safe and secure, there are more hidden dangers than you think. An Australia-based study found that 44% of reported injuries occur at home, and that statistic skyrockets to 75% for children under five.
With that in mind, it is worth taking precautionary measures to minimise the risk of harm. In this post, we outline eight common household hazards and provide handy tips on how to avoid them.
It sounds trivial, but slipping is a significant cause of injury (and worse) in Australian homes.
The elderly are especially vulnerable due to their physical capabilities and require much more time to recover from injuries. Children are equally at risk due to their undeveloped motor skills.
Take the following steps to minimise the risk.
- Install handrails on staircases (particularly important for the elderly)
- Clear away debris such as leaves from your doorways
- Clean up spills straightaway
- Upgrade your gutters or drains to stop water pooling on the ground
- Put non-slip mats on slick surfaces like bathroom floors.
House fires take more Australian lives than other natural hazards combined, including bushfires. But most fatalities can be prevented with the correct measures in place.
Open flames, including candles, cigarettes, and pipes, cause up to 25% of Australian house fires; you must closely monitor them at all times. The other key culprit is heating—Aussie firefighters regard winter as the “house fire season”. Again, persistent monitoring is crucial.
Smoke detectors are mandatory in Australia, and for good reason. Make sure you have a reliable alarm installed and that it complies with the standards of your state.
Cuts and Burns
People of all ages are susceptible to cuts and burns—a particularly nasty incident could leave a long-lasting injury. Children are more vulnerable than most, as they aren’t mature enough to understand the risks.
- Be careful around sharp knives, especially when washing up
- Point knives and forks downwards in the dishwasher
- Store razors out of harm’s way
- Put your tools away as soon as you’re done
- Take care around tin lids, and dispose of them promptly
- Wear mitts when using the oven, and assume every surface could be hot.
Allergens are often overlooked, but these nuisance antigens come in numerous forms and will wreak havoc on your immune response.
- Determine what food allergies you (and other householders) have and shop accordingly
- Vacuum frequently to avoid dust build-up
- Keep damp areas dry and well-ventilated to prevent mould
- Minimise your exposure to pollen in the garden
- Consider how pets interact with your allergies.
Tragically, drownings occur far too frequently at home, and most victims are children. Swimming pools pose the biggest threat, so keep a keen eye on the little ones at all times. Pool gates and childproof locks are a legal requirement in Australia—ensure yours are in good working order.
Bathtubs are the other major household drowning hazard. Monitor your children at all times, even if they’re only bathing in a few inches of water. Adults aren’t immune, either—no matter how relaxed you feel, avoid dozing off while soaking in the tub.
Colourless, odourless, and invisible to the naked eye, carbon monoxide is the “silent killer.” The deadly gas occurs when burning common fuels, and a poorly installed or maintained heating system could see it infiltrate the home.
As it is entirely undetectable, you won’t notice a problem until it’s too late—unless you install a carbon monoxide detector, that is. Furthermore, have a professional do an annual service on any appliances that consume propane, natural gas, charcoal, or wood.
Harsh chemicals contained in cleaning supplies and fuel could prove deadly if inadvertently ingested, so keep these products well out of reach of kids. Medications are another potential poison and are best stored on the top shelf of your cupboard.
Avoid storing any dangerous chemical solutions in unlabelled bottles, as both children and adults could mistake their contents.
Intruders pose a serious threat, so it’s worth taking steps to avoid unwanted guests. Think of all the entry points to your home and ensure that they are secure. Replace any old locks or add better security features such as security doors and window screens.
You can also consider installing a video intercom system or CCTV cameras. This will allow you to have better peace of mind with increased surveillance around your home and will act as a deterrent to any would-be burglars.
Keeping Your Home Secure
Boasting over 35 years of experience in the business, PSA Products is Australia’s premier home security specialist. We are a reputable carbon monoxide detector wholesale supplier and also one of the top CCTV surveillance system suppliers. Check out our online catalogue to browse the most reputable brands, including Lifesaver, IntelLink and HiLook.
If you have any questions or enquiries for us, our friendly and helpful team will be more than happy to help you out. Get in touch with us today!