Top 10 Most Dangerous Things in Your Home

Do you know the most deadly things in your home? It might not be what you expect.

There are many dangerous things in life, but these could be the most dangerous things lurking in your home (in no particular order).

1. Slips, Trips, and Falls

The elderly and kids are most at risk from this hazard. And it’s the biggest type of claim that ACC processes each year—in 2021 alone, ACC paid out $1,596,380,710 in claims (so far, as some treatments will be ongoing). So, fix those slippery floors, add handles in the bathroom and put down an anti-slip mat in the shower, remove rugs or stick them down with mat tape, and be careful on stairs and steps.

2. Asbestos

If your home was built before the 1990s, it’s likely to contain some form of asbestos. Ceiling tiles, roofing, stippled/ popcorn ceilings, linoleum… the list goes on. The danger from asbestos isn’t today, nor even next month or next year, but often decades down the track. The fibres get caught in the lungs and can develop cancer and asbestosis. Get asbestos removed by professionals, don’t risk your health.

3. Air Fresheners and Essential Oils

They smell nice, but they aren’t that good for you—and in some cases, can be deadly for our pets. Air fresheners contribute to indoor air pollution. Many fresheners have hazardous ingredients, including supposedly ‘green’ options. These scents can contribute to migraines, infant illnesses, asthma attacks, and breathing difficulties.

Essential oils, while they might seem a healthier alternative, can be just as toxic. Cats and dogs can become seriously ill from scents such as cinnamon, pine, citrus, peppermint, tea tree, and ylang-ylang. Also, be careful around young infants with all scents, but particularly rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, verbena, wintergreen, and fennel. In general, don’t use essential oils around pets and young children.

4. Antibacterial Soaps

Especially with COVID, the popularity of antibacterial soaps has risen. However, antibacterial soaps don’t work to kill viruses, and more importantly, these soaps are contributing to one of the biggest killers facing humanity: Antibacterial resistance.

The problem is that bacteria aren’t killed by these soaps, and instead, they develop immunity to antibacterial treatments. These super bacteria can’t be eradicated, and suddenly a simple infection becomes life-threatening. We all know about staphylococcus (MRSA) which is becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics, but there are many more strains that are evolving to outsmart treatment.

Stop using antibacterial soaps. Normal soaps are just as effective.

5. VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases that are emitted by a number of liquids or solids. VOCs include a range of chemicals such as formaldehyde, methylene chloride, benzene, and xylene. They can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose, cause nausea, and result in problems breathing. Some VOCs cause long-term effects and are linked to some types of cancer.

VOCs are commonly found in paint, flame retardants, laser printers, aerosols like air fresheners, cleaning products, varnish and furniture polishers, and laundry detergents. Some makeups even contain VOCs. These VOCs are inescapable, but you can limit their use. Use low or no VOC paints, limit the use of unneeded cleaning chemicals (often, vinegar or soapy water is enough), and store paints and paint strippers/ turpentine out of the house.

6. Blunt Knives

A surprise contender, blunt knives injure more people than sharp knives. Using a dull knife means you need more force/ pressure to use it, and then because it’s blunt, it often doesn’t even cut. It slides off the surface, plus the extra force, and there’s far more risk of cuts, amputations, and stab wounds.

Sharpen your knives.

7. Swimming Pools, Paddling Pools, Ponds

Drowning the biggest cause of death (after birth defects) for children between one and four years old. And all of these deaths are preventable. Always have a pool fence, monitor children in the water at all times, never leave them alone in the bath, and never become complacent. Drowning is silent.

Don’t use any floater devices on your children apart from life jackets. They not only provide a false sense of security, but they hold a child up in the drowning position, horizontal in the water, so they look ok when they are not.

8. Plastic Food Containers

Microwaving plastic can leach chemicals into food. The studies into this are ongoing, but the primary harm is that these chemicals mimic human hormones and can interfere with normal body functions.

In short, we don’t yet know the outcomes of this or the level of harm it can cause, so the best thing to do is reheat food in the microwave using glass containers.

9. Poisoning

While we know to keep all cleaners, solvents, and medications locked away from children, adults can unintentionally harm themselves too. There is often harm when alcohol is consumed while on prescription medications, or when medications are mixed.

Always check with your doctor and ensure you follow directions strictly as instructed. Also, tell your doctor about what other medications or dietary supplements you are taking, as these can interact with substances too.

10. Fires

Whatever the cause, fires and smoke inhalation kill hundreds of people each year. As well as general fire safety, such as being careful with candles and other sources of ignition, wiring and electrical appliances should be safe, and any repairs carried out by registered electricians.

Also, install smoke detectors, and ensure the batteries are changed every daylight savings

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