Every homeowner wants to sleep well at night, knowing their home is safe and sound for the health of their family. Yet did you know there are hidden hazards lurking in your home that you may be unaware of? Check your house against the list of hazards below, and your home and health with thank you.
- 9-volt batteries: 9-volt batteries, though useful and necessary for many electronic devices in the home, can ignite when coming in contact with anything metal. You may want to make sure your 9-volts are stored separately, or come with small plastic caps that you can use to keep them safe.
- Ionized smoke detectors: According to realtor.com, over 90% of smoke detectors found in the U.S. are ionized detectors. Unfortunately these detectors are less reliable when it comes to detecting slow burning fires, and lack of reacting can lead to major house damage or worse. Consumers should look for photoelectric detectors when purchasing detectors for their home.
- Hidden gas lines: Older homes, particularly ones that were built between 1860-1920, were all once fitted with natural gas lines to supply lighting in the home. As modern electricity improved these lines should have been capped off or converted, but many lines are still active today. Have a home inspector double check these lines to ensure they are dealt with properly.
- Lightwood truss construction: This type of construction uses metal gussets to join trusses instead of screws or bolts, but unfortunately is susceptible to heat and fire. When the home heats up, the gussets pop off, collapsing structures. Installing a proper sprinkler system above these structures can aid in fire prevention.
- Tipsy Stoves: Though light-weight stoves are the norm today, unless correctly installed, they can easily tip over when weight is applied in just the right place, tipping over or injuring those in the way! Make sure your home inspection includes an investigation of the stove and its risks.
- Heavy Flat-Screens: Older flat screen TVs tend to be heavier than today’s lightweight models. Though often placed carefully on a mantel or TV stand, they can fall if hit or weighed down by a reckless body movement or playful child. The best thing to do is to mount the TV on the wall with appropriate hardware.
- Carbon Monoxide Levels: This is an odorless and tasteless gas that can be extremely dangerous when levels are high in the home. To prevent levels of carbon monoxide from rising in your home, have your heating appliances maintained regularly and install detectors on every floor in the houses.
- VOCs: VOCs are volatile organic compounds are gases that release from specific solids and liquids such as paints, cleaning supplies, adhesives, pesticides, and more. When using these products, make sure the home or space is properly ventilated or use them outside if possible. Release of these gases can contribute to negative health effects.
Worried about potential hazards in your home? Luckily, there are ways to cope and deal with these problems. You can check out the Green and Healthy Homes Initiatives website for tips and resources to combat these hidden hazards and put your mind at ease.