Home is where the heart is, but it is where the greatest accident risk is as well. Parents do everything in their power to reduce the chance of a family member hurting themselves or becoming sick, but it’s easy to overlook things when you’re juggling life’s responsibilities. Your home’s safety is personal, but there are some measures everyone should heed. The following commonly-overlooked safety tips can help prevent accidents and keep families happy and healthy all year long.
Reduce the Risk of Radon Overexposure
After cigarette smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. This radioactive gas is naturally created by the earth, but when excessive amounts seep through the cracks and gaps of buildings and homes, it puts people’s health at risk. The only way to find out whether or not your family is exposed to excessive amounts of radon is through testing. Radon testing kits are relatively inexpensive and do not take long to conduct. However, if too much radon is detected, homeowners have to hire professionals for radon remediation, which isn’t as cheap as the kits themselves.
To prevent costly radon abatement, it’s important to take action in order to reduce your family’s chance of overexposure:
- Make smoking in the home a no-go. Not only does this reduce the chance of radon building up under your roof, but it also eliminates the other dangers of secondhand smoke.
- Regularly ventilate your home’s air using fans and vents to increase circulation. On nice days, open up windows and reap the other benefits of fresh air.
- Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s floors and walls. Not only does this prevent outside radon from leaking inside, but it also enables your home’s heating and cooling systems to be more energy efficient.
Anchor Heavy Furniture
All homes with children should anchor heavy furniture in order to prevent accidents. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child receives emergency care due to tipped furniture or a falling television every 30 minutes in the United States. Furthermore, on average, a child dies every two weeks from being crushed by a home furnishing.
Even if your children aren’t the type to climb on your home’s hutches and shelves, accidents happen. Making sure furnishings that could potentially harm family members are properly anchored significantly reduces the risk of major injury within the home. Use a stud finder to find points of contact where you can attach heavy furniture and electronics. Each furnishing needs at least two straps or anchors, and there should not be any slack in straps/anchors once attached. Finally, talk to your children about the dangers of climbing and tipping heavy furniture to prevent undue stress and reduce the risk of injuries within the home.
Boost Security and Prevent Break-Ins
There was a time when the average household didn’t feel the need to invest in security systems that help prevent break-ins, but today, there is little excuse to overlook these measures. There are about two million break-ins within the United States that occur every year, resulting in one burglary occurring every 15 seconds. Today, home security systems are more affordable and effective than ever, so it is in every homeowner’s best interests to find one that works for their needs.
Beyond installing a system that includes a front door camera, homeowners should always:
- Close curtains– especially at night and when not at home.
- Lock doors and windows, even when at home.
- Check camera feed or through the peephole before opening the front door.
- Get to know neighbors and communicate about any suspicious activities you spot.
- Talk to children about home safety and how to contact emergency services if necessary.
Every home has its own safety needs, but there are always things people overlook. Radon isn’t talked about as much as other dangerous gases like carbon monoxide, but preventing overexposure reduces the family’s need to seek professional remediation. Every 30 minutes in the United States, a child is injured by falling furniture or electronics. Anchor heavy furnishing to prevent these devastating accidents. Finally, break-ins and burglaries are more common than you think. Invest in a home security system and talk with your family about safety measures that deter criminal activity.
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