Tips for Making Your Home Safe for Pets

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Whether you have young pets or older ones, there are certain household hazards to be aware of. Puppies and kittens can get into trouble while exploring different parts of your home out of curiosity. Adult dogs and cats can also end up getting hurt or sick from common household dangers for pets. Keep the following tips in mind to make your home as safe as possible for your pets.

Food Hazards

Some types of foods are toxic to dogs, cats or both. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and macadamia nuts are among the foods that can make pets, especially dogs, seriously ill. You should store these foods out of your pet’s reach, and immediately pick up any that falls on the floor before your pet can get it.

Toxic Plants

Certain household plants and flowers can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses in dogs and cats if they ingest them. For example, lilies, amaryllis, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths are considered toxic to cats. For dogs, azaleas, irises, sago palms, begonias and philodendrons are among the plants that are considered toxic to dogs. You should avoid having these types of plants inside your home to lower the risk of your pet ingesting them. If you do have any plants that are toxic, you should keep them in an area that your pets can’t get to, such as high on a shelf or in a closed-off room.

Medications and Cleaning Products

Medications and cleaning products can make pets dangerously ill if they swallow or ingest them. You should store these items in cabinets that your pets can’t get into. Consider installing childproof latches on cabinets to prevent your pets from being able to open them.

Wires and Cords

These items can become strangulation hazards in your home, especially when you have curious pets around. Wires and cords also put pets at risk of electrical shock if they chew on them or play with them. Hide cords and wires out of reach of your pets, and use childproof window blind products to prevent your pets from playing with these types of cords.

String and Small Items

Dogs and cats can end up with serious injuries if they swallow pieces of string or small items, such as buttons. This can happen if they chew on clothes or get into sewing supplies. You can reduce this risk by keeping clothing items, shoes and craft supplies stored away in an area that your pets can’t reach. You should also check your rugs and furniture for strings or small items that might have fallen off clothes or other objects before your pets find them.

Hazards To Protect Your Child From In The Home

When you have children, you want to ensure that they’re safe and healthy. You probably have done childproofing and try to keep as many hazards out of your kid’s way as possible. There are plenty of hidden dangers around your home that you may have never thought of to protect your kids. Read on To discover more ways to keep your kids safe. 

Dishwasher

You use your dishwasher on a regular basis, and if you have kids, there are a few risks involved that you may have never even thought. The door on the dishwasher should have a secure locking feature on it. If the door isn’t properly closed, all it takes is a little tap from a child, and everything from the dishwasher can come crashing out. Even the door to the appliance itself can be heavy. You don’t want that hitting your child.  

For older children, if the dishwasher isn’t properly loaded, chores can become hazardous. Sharp knives and forks should be pointing in the right direction so when a child is unloading the dishwasher, they aren’t accidentally hurt. 

Dishwasher detergent pods can be a choking hazard as well. Keep these out of reach of children. 

The Oven Or Range

Your oven or range should be correctly installed to avoid injuries. Anti-tip brackets should be mounted on ranges so that there isn’t a risk of the appliance falling on your child. If the child leans on or climbs on the range, there is less risk this way. 

Wall ovens should have doors that lock well. Usually, wall ovens are installed a bit higher up in the kitchen, but oven doors that fly open can pose an injury risk. 

On the stovetop, make sure that pot handles are turned in to keep little hands from grabbing them. If you can, use the back burners instead of the front. This will be an added security to keep your kids from getting burned. 

Your Child’s Room

Young children will spend a lot of time in their nursery. Between napping and playing, you want to be sure that the room is safe. The crib should be sturdy with a firm mattress. Nothing should be placed in the crib besides a fitted sheet. It’s preferable to have new cribs for babies as older cribs can be worn and wobbly. Hand-me-downs could even be missing parts. Be sure that the child’s room doesn’t have a lot of electrical cords and any unused outlets have caps on them.            

Demystifying Carbon Monoxide

“The silent killer.” It’s a perplexing name for a common household hazard. We’ve all heard of the dangers of carbon monoxide, but few of us are taught exactly what causes CO poisoning.

Understanding the causes of CO poisoning are essential in reducing the risk that you or your family could be harmed by this poisonous gas. So, in this article we’ll break down what exactly it is that carbon monoxide does to the body, where it can occur in the home, and how to protect yourself against it.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas. Because it is so dangerous to humans, fuels that emit carbon monoxide are usually mixed with other gases that do have an odor. This way, humans can typically smell gas and therefore be alerted that they are in danger.

What does CO do to the body?

When inhaled, carbon monoxide inhibits your body’s ability to use oxygen. So, even though you are breathing in air, your body is still suffocating. As a result, the lack of oxygen caused by carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death the same way that drowning does.

High levels of CO in the air can cause you to succumb within minutes. Your chest will tighten, you’ll feel dizzy or drowsy and could suffocate if you don’t get away from the area.

However, lower levels of CO exposure can also be dangerous. People often notice headaches, slight dizziness and muscle fatigue and mistake the symptoms for the flu.

People who are asleep can die from carbon monoxide poisoning without ever experiencing symptoms.

Where is CO found within the home?

Since carbon monoxide occurs from unburned fuels leaking in the air, there are a number of sources within and outside the home that emit carbon monoxide.

According to the American Lung Association, some common sources of carbon monoxide include:

  • Gas appliances (furnaces, ranges, ovens, water heaters, clothes dryers, etc.)

  • Fireplaces, wood stoves

  • Coal or oil furnaces

  • Space heaters or oil or kerosene heaters

  • Charcoal grills, camp stoves

  • Gas-powered lawn mowers and power tools

  • Automobile exhaust fumes

How to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning

Luckily there are several ways to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. Knowing what causes it is the first and most important way. Preventing gas leaks in appliances and maintaining proper upkeep of those appliances is one important way.

Another tip to keep in mind is to make sure your home is well ventilated. If cooking for a long period of time, don’t leave gas ranges unattended. If the knobs on your range are easily turned, make sure children and pets aren’t left alone near the oven.

Never use items like kerosene lanterns, portable camping stoves, burning charcoal, or running engines inside your home or garage. Lack of ventilation can easily cause CO levels to rise to a dangerous level within minutes.

Common mistakes involving carbon monoxide include running lawnmowers or other gas-powered items inside a garage, or leaving a car running in a garage.

Finally, install a carbon monoxide detector in your house and garage. Change the batteries regularly and test the alarm often. If you smell gas in your home and can’t identify the source immediately, open the windows and leave the house.

The Most Dangerous Room in Your Home

If you were to guess which area in your home poses the most safety hazards, what would be your answer?  The kitchen?  The basement?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.

More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. More than 14 percent occur while using the toilet.

By taking some simple steps in your own bathroom, you can cut the risk of serious injury to yourself and your loves ones dramatically.

  • Install support railings right outside of your tub.
  • Put down an anti-slippage mat on the floor of your tub.
  • Take extra care when using electrical outlets in your bathroom. Install a hand towel holder next to outlets, and get in the habit of making sure your hands are dried before plugging and unplugging electrical devices.
  • Be sure that bathroom rugs around your toilet and sink have excellent anti-slip capabilities, and replace your rugs when they become worn.

After following these steps, re-evaluate your bathroom. Can you find anything else that may pose a danger?