4 Safety Hazards That May Be Lurking Around Your Home
Home is the place where most people feel safest and most comfortable. However, regardless of how many safety precautions are taken, there are many hidden dangers in the home with the potential to cause harm to occupants. Homeowners can take precautions by being aware and prepared to face the following possible home safety hazards.
The Perils of Asbestos
In the early days of construction, asbestos was widely used within residential, commercial, and industrial structures. The primary points of placement included ceiling insert panels, shingles, linoleum, vinyl flooring, and insulation, and there are indeed other components that could be culprits.
However, unless a home was built before the 1950s, it's highly unlikely asbestos will be present. Homeowners who suspect they might have this material in the structure should consult with a professional right away to avoid an array of possible health consequences.
The use of asbestos is prohibited, so modern homes are likely safe. Home inspections don't include checking for asbestos, so it falls on the owner to become educated about their home. If in doubt, they should call an asbestos expert for an assessment to avoid this home hazard.
An astonishing 50,000 Americans head to emergency rooms annually due to carbon monoxide (CO2). Odorless and tasteless, this clear gas can fill homes without being detected by humans. With preventions in place, incidences related to CO2 poising have declined significantly.
Thanks to affordable CO2 detection devices that are often paired into a smoke detection device, detectors are the easiest way to protect the home. Even better, new smart detection devices synced with smart home hubs can notify owners even when they aren't in the house while alerting the fire department right away.
Mold can be present anywhere water, moisture, or even steam penetrates, unless these areas are properly sealed and maintained. Sometimes, the green, grayish, or beige substance can be visually seen, but most often it hides away, sharing only a musty odor to signify its presence.
Mold can exacerbate or cause serious health problems in the respiratory system and source skin discomfort if left unattended. Some of the most common places mold develops include:
- Under sinks and flooring
- Behind walls and ceilings
- Around roof and window leaks
- Wood installations
If caught in the early stages, small amounts of mold might be resolved with commercial cleansers from a hardware store. However, most cases are in advanced stages far before discovery and require professional mold remediation and restoration services.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Another hidden danger in the home is often literally everywhere. This hazard lies in the form of volatile organic compounds, commonly called VOCs. These potentially harmful compounds typically enter homes via new paint, furniture, and carpeting—or even what's already there. Once a staple in many manufacturing processes, the use of VOCs is diminishing now that the possible dangers are better known.
When VOCs break down, they release a gas that can cause a number of discomforts such as sore throat, sinus issues, headaches, and more. The good news is that there are plenty of low or no-VOC products on the market today. It will take some investigating to determine the presence of VOCs, but the effort is well worthwhile.
Need Help Finding Hidden Dangers in Your Home?
Calling a professional inspection service or experienced home contractor who specializes in the issues you want to address can help make your home safer.