From the obvious to the more subtle dangers, there’s no place like home to be aware of for your health and safety obligations.
Working from home is very different from being involved in a hectic work environment, especially from a safety perspective. As you will be on your own, you won’t be able to depend on a dedicated health and safety manager to help point out hazards and make you aware of your obligations – you are on your own.
With that in mind, here are eight of the biggest safety hazards in your home that you should always keep an eye out for.
1. Carbon monoxide
Due to its odourless and flavourless nature, this gas is notoriously difficult to detect. 500 people a year die from this “silent” killer, so be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector to stay on the safe side of things.
For poorly-insulated homes, mold is almost an inevitability. Being exposed to mold spores can result in many different irritations and ailments including sore eyes and chronic coughs. If you have mold, a meticulous cleaning job with a non-ammonia cleaner can help to alleviate it, but a professional job could be your best option.
It’s not uncommon to hear of something as small as a lit cigarette burning down an entire household. Being safer is much better than being sorry in this case; make sure your cigarette is completely doused as you stub it out. Alternatively, snuffing it out in either water or sand is one of the most effective ways to ensure it doesn’t pose a threat.
4. Sharp cutlery
This is especially prevalent when in a household with small children. Though their inclination might be to play with something sharp without realising the danger, it obviously is not a good idea for them to do so. Keep all dangerous utensils out of sight and reach of youngsters in the home.
5. Wet floors
Just because you can’t see a wet floor sign, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk. Bathing without using a floor towel or washing up in the kitchen sink are just two of the way in which spilled water can pose an issue. Always mop up if you can or risk some nasty slips.
At one point or other, we’ve all missed that extra step on the staircase and ended up with a couple of bruises after an unwelcome descent. For the young and elderly, going up and down the stairs can have far deadlier repercussions. Don’t run when using stairs and implore everyone in your house to do the same to stay safe.
7. Electrical devices
Keeping devices plugged in when not in use can be bad not just ecologically, but also for your fire safety. If they overheat, there is a real chance of a blaze setting off and endangering everyone in the household. Unplug anything if it isn’t critical and replace any frayed or damaged wires to stay on the safe side. You could also hire an electrician to check if your current setup is correct.
There are many hazards that can come about from cooking food and especially if you are using many different tools at one time. Don’t leave your cooking unattended for long periods of time and consider replacing your utensils if they are looking worn. Burns aren’t uncommon in the kitchen so always be careful when handling hot items or when using oils. Not putting on your cooker/oven properly can results in gas leaks, so always be vigilant for that also.