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Home Safety Tips for Spring Cleaning

Your home is intended to be a safe place to retreat from the world. However, when Americans stayed home due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there were an estimated 31,800,000 preventable injuries reported and consulted by a medical professional. This number was greater than public injuries, workplace injuries, and motor-vehicle crashes combined that year. 

In response to the staggering statistic, the National Safety Council (NSC) published data identifying the causes of home injury-related deaths, specifically. Sadly, more than half of home deaths were due to poisoning, and another quarter were because of falls.

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Such injuries and causes of death are preventable when safety hazards are identified and appropriate steps are taken to improve your home’s safety. 

As you clean your home this spring, here are some safety tips and potential safety hazards to be mindful of:

  1. Take Extra Care With Cleaning Supplies
  2. Be Mindful of Carbon Monoxide
  3. Minimize Fall Hazards

Injuries can lead to time away from your job, lost wages, and medical expenses. Request a remote consultation with the personal injury lawyers of Bart Durham Injury Law to discuss your situation. 

Take Extra Care With Cleaning Supplies

If you are using heavy-duty cleaning supplies to tackle the grit and grime in your home this spring, be aware of their harmful properties. For example, chlorine bleach, rug and upholstery cleaners, and oven cleaners all contain toxic chemicals. Read all the labels and try to choose products that have small amounts – or none at all – of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), irritants, and flammable ingredients. 

Whether you have children in your home or one of your family members has adverse reactions to these chemicals (headaches, irritation to the eyes or throat), take extra care as you use cleaning supplies. Store the cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet or an out-of-reach place, and open the windows and doors to allow fresh air to filter out the strong smells and pollutants.  

Alternatively, use warm water and soap, baking soda, or mixtures of vinegar and water as homemade cleaning products. 

Be Mindful of Carbon Monoxide 

Carbon monoxide poisonings that occur at home are most often a result of improper ventilation. For instance, if you are using a pressure washer to clean the exterior of your home and the machine is less than 20 feet from an open window, door, or vent, the carbon monoxide fumes can enter your home. Make sure the machine is a safe distance from your home by using an extension cord. 

While you are going about your spring cleaning, it is not a bad idea to install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home. Or, if you already have one, replace the battery. A CO detector will be your lifeline in the event that carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels in your home because CO has no odor, making it difficult to detect. 

A few signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include feeling dizzy, light-headed, and nauseous. Leave your home and seek medical help immediately if you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide. 

Minimize Fall Hazards

Contrary to popular belief, ladders and step stools do not account for most at-home slips and falls. In fact, most people fall on level surfaces within their home. Here is a breakdown of the top places in the home where residents fall:

  • Living room: 31%
  • Bedroom: 30%
  • Kitchen: 19%
  • Bathroom: 13%
  • Hallway: 10%

Because the culprits behind most home falls include throw rugs, loose carpets, and wet floors, go about your spring cleaning looking for these hazards. 

If you are shampooing the carpets, make note of upturned carpet, especially along the walls, by doorways, on stairs, and have them repaired. As you roll-up rugs to clean the floors underneath, place the rugs behind furniture where they will not be easily tripped over.

When you mop, be intentional to work from one corner of the room to the other so that you don’t have to walk on the wet surface, and tell your family members to avoid the room for at least 20 minutes as it dries. 

Another safety tip to avoid falling? Wear rubber-soled shoes or bare feet around your house, as opposed to only socks.

If you have suffered in an accident you did not cause, the last thing you need is the burden of lost wages and mounting medical bills. Contact Bart Durham Injury Law for FREE today.

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