Your home is the one place in the world where you should be able to feel totally safe and relaxed. For the most part, this is easy enough. However, there are various hidden dangers which can be right under your nose without you knowing it! While I don’t want you living in a constant state of paranoia, it’s important to be aware of some of these hidden hazards…
E. Coli and Salmonella
E. Coli and Salmonella are two forms of bacteria which are known to affect the intestinal tract, and can cause symptoms ranging from minor bouts of diarrhea all the way to life-threatening cases of dehydration. The most common causes of this kind of infection are handling or eating contaminated foods, such as meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. The best way to minimize the chances of you or anyone else getting infected is to wash your hands thoroughly every time you handle food, and to use two separate cutting boards for preparation – one for raw meat and another for food and vegetables. It’s also essential to wash utensils and plates thoroughly between every time you use them for raw meat.
This is by far the scariest hidden danger in the house, mainly due to how hard it is to detect. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible and tasteless gas which can cause severe flu-like symptoms and even death in some cases. While gas leak detection methods and carbon monoxide detectors have become much more sophisticated in recent years, there are still hundreds of deaths every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas space heaters, kerosene appliances, and wood stoves are among the most common sources of carbon monoxide in the home.
The best way to reduce your chances is making sure all your appliances which use organic fuels are checked and serviced regularly by a qualified technician, and that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. You should also remember to avoid any dangerous behaviors such as heating your home with a gas oven, or using coal and gas-powered devices in general inside.
Although it’s unsightly and embarrassing, a lot of people don’t really consider mold to be a serious health hazard. However, it can be a pretty serious danger in your home, and needs to be treated as such. These microscopic organisms thrive pretty much anywhere where they can find moisture, oxygen, and organic material. If you have anywhere in your home with poor ventilation that gets generally damp, then you can expect mold to spring up there sooner or later.
If you’re exposed to mold too much, it can easily lead to severe congestion, eye irritation and a chronic cough. Keep an eye on any areas that have a risk of getting mold, and remove any that springs up with a non-ammonia cleaner or dishwashing liquid. If you have any respiratory illnesses like asthma, be sure to wear rubber gloves, long sleeves, thick pants, and even eye protectors to protect yourself from the harmful spores.