Every expectant parents’ handbook instructs its readers to baby-proof the house in order to make sure that the newborn child doesn’t end up in the emergency room for preventable reasons. But preventative action in a household isn’t just limited to new parents, or even parents at all! There are plenty of quiet traps lurking around the corner that can impact a beloved pet, relative, or spouse; fortunately, the next several paragraphs will prepare you to protect and defend from these hidden household scourges.
Check the Tank!
One of the most significant causes of serious burns or scalding is not found in the kitchen, but rather in the basement. That’s right: the hot water tank is one of the most prolific perpetrators of household burns. Tank maintenance is one of the most important actions a homeowner can take, and it is one that a landlord should ensure is addressed before leasing out any home. For maximum safety, it is important to keep the internal heat of the water tank at 120 degrees Farenheit at all times.
Does the water in the house still seem either too hot or too cool after adjusting the tank temperature appropriately? It is fully possible that sediment from the local water system has settled at the bottom of the tank and is disrupting the internal temperature regulator, tricking it into thinking the water is cooler or hotter than it actually is. Completely draining the tank and cleaning it internally is the solution to this problem; however, if a complete dump-and-clean is not feasible, an equally efficient solution can be to attach temperature-sensitive showerheads and faucets to frequently used water fixtures. These specialized filters are relatively cheap, and can prevent injury from a faulty water tank.
Keeping Track of Labels
Over the years, many homeowners accumulate half-used bottles of pills of all sorts, and these bottles tend to congregate in the medicine cabinet. Others choose to dispose of old pills, but re-use the bottles to store spare change or other drugs. Regardless of each homeowner’s choice, it is imperative that the labels on each container are kept updated! While it might seem harmless at first, it is often only a matter of time before someone misunderstands a dosage or thinks they are taking a specific drug when in reality, they are taking a completely different one.
Alarms Every Home Should Have
Most people are aware that each and every home should have a fire alarm. However, fire alarms don’t do too much on their own: keeping active batteries inside each alarm is a necessity that many people neglect. The rule of thumb suggested by organizations devoted to prevention of fire-related deaths is to change the batteries on each fire alarm whenever the clocks in the house are adjusted for Daylight Savings Time. Nowadays, alarms are often equipped with a function that will cause them to beep incessantly when they need new batteries, so heed the beep!
Less common, although just as imperative to the health and safety of the inhabitants of each and every home, is a carbon monoxide detector. These detectors function similarly to fire alarms, but instead of smoke, they react to the presence of carbon monoxide. This deadly gas is clear, and lacks taste and smell; it is also produced by normal household appliances, including water heaters and furnaces. Because of the commonality of these appliances and the gas’s traits that leave it almost undetectable by humans until it’s too late, hundreds of people each year are killed or require emergency medical assistance because of carbon monoxide poisoning. The easiest way to prevent this is by installing carbon monoxide detectors in each main area of the house.
These tips are quick and easy, while allowing the homeowner to prevent some of the most common causes of death and injury. Making the home a safer place to live in requires just a few minor tweaks and no major inconveniences; in fact, most of these suggestions can be easily executed with just a quick trip to the hardware store. So go forth, and make the home a safer place to be.