We hear all kinds of surprising stories about terrible accidents people have in their homes. The first thought is usually ‘oh, that would never happen to me!’ Home safety hazards wait around every corner for you and your child. You should be aware and be proactive to help prevent an accident or a tragedy. A safe home is a happy home! Knowing the hazards can help you keep yourself and your family safe in your Naples home.
Carbon monoxide is probably the leader in death by poison. It is the ultimate assassin, undetectable by sight or smell. The symptoms can vary but may include nausea and headaches, lethargy, abdominal pain, confusion and dizziness, and may also include blurred vision. Carbon monoxide is a deadly killer and presents a risk to those who live in Florida. Why? There are only a few weeks a year where it gets frigid, and people break out their temporary heating solutions. Gas-powered heater? Check!
This poisonous gas comes from the incomplete burning of fuels, which can include wood, charcoal, natural gas, and propane! If you are thinking ‘well, I have a gas stove,’ then bingo! Gas ranges, portable generators, small gas engines, grills, smoking tobacco, and yes, your car all produce carbon monoxide.
How should you keep yourself safe? Install a CO detector alarm in every room, particularly bedrooms. Make sure every appliance is correctly connected and installed. Have any fireplace, combustion heating or ventilation inspected every year. Make sure generators are outside and 20 feet from the windows and doors. Never leave a vehicle running while in an attached garage, even if the door is open!
There are so many things that can poison us in our own homes. Household cleaners are some of the most toxic substances you can come across on a daily basis. In particular, toilet cleaner, iron-remover, oven cleaner and anything with bleach will chemically burn you and can kill rapidly if swallowed. Laundry products and detergents pose dangers to children. Several years back, Tide was up to their shoulders in lawsuits over their Tide pods, which children kept swallowing because the pods were colorful and looked like candy. Accidental poisoning is one of the scariest threats to child safety. Small children are so susceptible. Parents must stay vigilant in keeping dangerous things out of the reach of children.
Always keep as few household cleaners around as you need, keep them out of reach, and locked away. Or try to use other, more natural cleaning products. Vinegar and baking soda are popular, and Norwex is a massive leader toward the chemical-free home.
Florida is home to many kinds of toxic insects and snakes. Have your home treated regularly by a professional to keep out such infestations as fire ants, coral snakes, pit vipers, and wasps.
Pesticides are also very toxic to humans. Your feet will absorb the organophosphates, and inhaling it can also harm you. Some people use this chemical as nerve gas! Take care not to pour any pesticides into an unmarked container, and never to pour it into an improperly marked one. Always lock it away and keep your children and pets away from affected areas for up to 24 hours.
The Poison Control Center can be reached at (800) 222-1222 or visit the Florida Poison Control website.
Household fires can be very devastating, even if everyone makes it out alright. Watch out for these fire hazards to help keep your home safe and fire-free!
Unattended cooking equipment can quickly start a fire. The water boils over, or the oven mitt was too close to the burner and catches. Always be very attentive when in the kitchen!
Heaters are substantial fire hazards. In some areas, they are against the fire code in offices if they do not have knock-over protection. This means that if something does knock it over, it will immediately shut off.
Smoking in bedrooms is a terrible idea! A cigarette butt can be hot hours after you stopped smoking it. If you fall asleep while smoking, then you might not wake up!
Electrical fires and faulty wiring are perhaps some of the more dangerous fires because you cannot always see them. Have your home inspected by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety.
Candles smell lovely and make the room feel homey! But they are also very good at starting a fire. Maybe you like to work with one on your desk. You go to check on the kid, and the AC turns on, blowing that Kleenex in the top of the box right toward the flame…. Use one of the plug-in air fresheners instead.
Fire extinguishers are cheap insurance against a catastrophe. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors fail so you should test them yearly according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Nothing is more common in Naples, Florida than swimming pools. It seems like there are more homes with swimming pools than without. We have to be absolutely sure we are doing everything possible to keep our kids safe.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your young children is building a fence around the pool. Collier County requires a fence around the pool to be four feet or more with no space for a small child to get through. The fence must be separate from any fencing around the yard. If you want additional protection, try adding a safety gate alarm. This will let you know if your bright child has managed to access the pool area without you there. Get rid of the diving board. It doesn’t require being inexperienced to slip, hit your head, and fall into the water unconscious. This could be you, or your child.
Whether you are trying to keep yourself or your children from falling, what can you watch out for?
Put up a child gate to keep young ones from wandering up and down the stairs. Make sure it is easy to spot the beginning and end of the stairs – if the stairs are covered in the same carpet, people are likely to miss it. Ditch throw rugs! They bunch up and can trip anyone, whether healthy adult or elderly grandparent. Stop running extension cords across walkways! Yes, you may want a lamp over there, but there has to be a better solution than creating a safety hazard.