Categorised | Health & Lifestyle

Hidden Dangers in Your Home

We associate our homes with safety and security, but there are a surprising number of dangers lurking within your property. Although you can’t always see them, it’s important to be aware of the hazards which could be affecting your health.

To find out what dangers could be present in your home – and what you can do about them – take a look at the most common hidden household hazards now…

1. Carbon Monoxide

Although many people know that carbon monoxide can be fatal, they’re not familiar with the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. As the gas is odourless and colourless, you won’t usually know there’s a problem until you start to feel unwell.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is often characterised by headaches, nausea and a feeling of lethargy or tiredness. As these symptoms can be associated with any number of non-fatal conditions, people often fail to link how they’re feeling to the risk of a carbon monoxide leak.

However, everyday household items produce the gas, so there’s a risk of a leak in most homes and commercial buildings. Anything which burns an organic fuel could produce carbon monoxide and excess amounts or improper ventilation will cause poisoning. 

The best way to protect your home and your family from the risk is to install reliable carbon monoxide alarms. These work in a similar way to smoke detectors are sound an audible alarm if the amount of carbon monoxide increases to a dangerous level. Simply install carbon monoxide alarms around your property, check they’re working and test them regularly to ensure they’re functioning, and you can prevent carbon monoxide from becoming a hazard in your home. 

2. Mould

It’s not uncommon for mould to be present in residential buildings, particularly if areas of your property are damp or poorly ventilated. However, mould can be extremely harmful to your health and could cause or exacerbate a wide range of symptoms.

When people are exposed to mould, they may experience the classic symptoms of allergies, such as itchy eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose and congestion. In some cases, this may develop into chronic sinusitis and/or chest infections. If people have an underlying condition, such as asthma, the presence of mould could make their symptoms worsen, which could prove fatal in some cases.

Even though it isn’t uncommon to find mould in your home, it’s important to take action. Resolving damp problems with proper insulation, heating and ventilation is the best way to prevent mould from forming. However, once mould is present, you’ll need to ensure it’s removed safely.

There are over-the-counter products which claim to kill and remove mould from household surfaces, but some are more effective than others. If you’re attempting to remove mould yourself, it’s essential you take safety precautions and wear protective clothing and equipment. 

If you’re unsure how to deal with the hazard safely, it’s best to contact a professional cleaning or mould removal company who can ensure your home is safe and free from danger. 

3. Methamphetamine

Most people will be shocked to find that methamphetamine is a common household danger, but you’d be surprised to learn that many residential buildings are contaminated with the drug. When methamphetamine is produced or smoked, it leaves a residue which adheres to surrounding surfaces.

This residue can remain for long periods of time and may not be fully removed with standard cleaning products and methods. As a result, homes, offices and workplaces all over Australia have potentially harmful levels of methamphetamine inside. 

Exposure to methamphetamine residue can cause various symptoms, including insomnia, headaches, nausea, skin irritations and damage to your nervous system. Both touching the residue and breathing it in can cause health problems, so it’s important to ensure your family and your home are protected from this hazard.

If you’re moving into a new property, renting your home out to tenants or event letting a room out to a lodger, you’ll want to ensure that every room is free from meth contaminates or residue. With a professional drug test, specialist technicians can confirm whether methamphetamine is present in your property and, if so, how much is there. 

If meth residue is found in your home, you can arrange for decontamination experts to remove it safely. Once the process is complete, you can be sure that you, your family and your home are no longer at risk from this dangerous drug. 

4. Lead

Although lead was commonly used in the building trade until the 1970s, it’s potentially very dangerous. Exposure to lead can cause a wide range of health problems, including nerve disorders, convulsions, changes in behaviour and problems with cognitive function. 

Regulations prevent the use of lead in construction, but older properties may still have lead present. Old pipes were commonly made from lead, for example, and could make your water potentially toxic. Similarly, lead paint could release harmful toxins into your home and put your family’s health at risk. In addition, contaminated soil can pose a health risk, particularly if water is dispelled from lead pipes around or under your property.

To find out if there is lead present inside your home, you can arrange for lead testing to take place. In addition to using home kits to test for lead, you can rely on specialist companies to perform professional testing. These types of tests are often more sensitive than home-use test kits and may provide more accurate results.

If harmful levels of lead are confirmed within your property, you’ll need to take action. It’s not safe to attempt to remove lead yourself, so always seek professional guidance before doing anything. When removing lead pipes, paint or products, the dust particles themselves can be toxic, so it’s a job that’s best left to specialist engineers. 

You may need to move out of the property temporarily whilst the lead is removed, depending on how much is present and what type of work is needed. However, once you can return, you’ll be confident that your home no longer poses a threat to your or your family.

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