hazardous waste sign

5 Hidden Dangers That Can Make Your Home Unsafe

Do you feel safe in your home? Most people do.

But even though you may have thought to put up the fencing to keep your kids or grandkids from venturing too close to the pool, are there other lurking dangers in your home?

Here is our list of the top 5 dangers in most people’s homes that can cause their family harm.

Danger # 1: Household Hazardous Wastes

Household hazardous wastes consist of things we all use in our homes like cleaning products, pesticides, laundry detergents, automotive chemicals…and the list goes on and on, even including compact fluorescent lamps/bulbs (CFLs), batteries and thermometers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the average U.S. household generates more than 20 pounds of household hazardous waste per year, and we each may store as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste in our homes as well!

These types of products present 3 dangers to your family.

  • First, simply exposing your family to these toxins is unhealthy. Just check out the Environmental Working Group website, org, to learn specifics about how each of these products can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, hormone disruption and other serious health issues.
  • Storing them can be a potential health and/or fire hazard. People routinely keep gallons of household toxins – for years and years – in unlocked cabinets that kids may get into. People errantly store chemicals together, such as chlorine bleach and ammonia, which are dangerous if they come in contact with each other; if accidentally mixed they can cause a gas called chloramine, which can cause serious breathing problems or even be fatal. Many stored chemicals are also extremely flammable.

And kids are attracted to these stored household hazards. Products like laundry detergent pods can be outright fatal should they be ingested. Some 62,254 calls were made between 2013 and 2014 to poison control centers in the U.S. reporting unintentional exposures to dishwashing and laundry pods. Batteries, too, are a common choking hazard for small children and pets. CFLs and thermometers contain mercury, an extremely toxic element. Should the product break it can damage the brain and nervous system.

  • Disposal of these toxins poisons the environment long-term. You should not just toss them in the garbage or down the drain! These types of toxins need to be taken to a hazardous materials drop-off location (most communities have these; just search your city and the term “household hazardous waste disposal”; or visit earth911.com and enter your zip code to find out about disposal options for specific types of waste). Consider this: we purchase more than 3 billion household batteries in the U.S. each year and when left in landfill the metals and corrosive acids can leach into the soil and water supply.

Danger # 2: Non-working Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Fire Extinguishers