Sure, rats, spiders and clowns may terrify you, but chances are you won’t sustain any life-threatening injuries from them. Spiders scare me with all their legs in addition to their secrecy. Furthermore, the house centipede might be the scariest thing known to humans. They are fast, ugly and make even the most masculine man scream like a four year old child. Yet, unlike these household pests (as well as your local neighborhood clown), there are genuine household hazards which are truly scary and should be on your radar this All Hallows Eve. We’ve emphasized 7 scary household hazards, but let us know if we’ve missed any.
We would like to highlight some of them here with 11 facts you’ll want to keep carved in your mind (*unless otherwise noted, these are per year and in the United States):
There are on average 358,500 home structure fires
This is a scary number and many of these are preventable. Checking for fire hazards starts in the kitchen as this is a “hot spot” where numerous fires originate, especially on the stove top. You’ll also want to give space heaters room to function (watch out for curtains or anything flammable coming into contact with them). Two other warning areas should be candles (like your pans in the kitchen, don’t leave them unattended) and faulty/deteriorating electrical cords.
Over 20,000 deaths are related to radon exposure
It’s radon, it’s the number one leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and it’s a deadly, invisible, radioactive gas. It seeps through the ground like a ghost and it doesn’t taste nor smell like anything. The EPA estimates that 21,000 fall victim to it each year, while the National Cancer Institute has their number approaching 22,000.
Christmas can elevate your chances of catching “pine flu”
Did you know that live Christmas trees can release mold spores into your home? While this may not be a problem for most, people who have asthma issues or sensitivity to various allergens might want to reconsider bringing that live tree indoors next month.
44,019 die from unintentional drug-poisoning
It’s the leading cause of injury death in our country and again, with education, programs and assistance these very unfortunate statistics can drop a great deal. Drug-poisoning takes more lives each year than automobile accidents, guns or falling. Do you know that someone calls a poison control center about every 11 seconds in our nation? Please make sure drugs and harmful household cleaning products are out of reach from toddlers and young children.
Carbon monoxide is another silent killer
Like radon, carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless, tasteless, colorless and undetectable without the proper detector placed in your home. This gas is toxic and takes the lives of 438 people annually in our nation. Remember, you can’t smell this gas so it’s imperative that you get one carbon monoxide detector installed on each floor of your home to properly protect yourself as well as your loved ones.
One in four Americans over the age of 65 falls
Not surprisingly, falling hazards are the number cause of injuries to seniors, but it doesn’t have to be such a dangerous “slipup” that many take in their day-to-day activities around the home. Here are a few “steps” you can take to keep your loved ones safe – they should avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing, install hand/guide rails for their use, declutter, wear shoes that have good traction/footing, live on one level (if possible) and keep areas of the home where they travel well-light.
A TV can fall with the force of thousands of pounds
Yes, think about that the next time you place a television or large appliance on a free-standing piece of furniture in your home. That’s roughly the equivalent of a NFL lineman slamming into your child… times 10!
Fire takes the lives of 3,362 people
While the fire death rate has dropped over 17% in the past decade, and that’s fantastic news, there’s still more work to be done – education is needed, more fire-escape plans need to be rehearsed and more detectors need to be installed to protect our families. It’s not all scary and it doesn’t have to be, but that number is still way too high!
Every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall
Another scary fact, sadly this is all too true. That’s over 19,500 annually; keeping in mind these are unintentional as most of the dangers on this list are.
Almost one in four calls to a poison control center originated from a health care facility
This is interesting and scary – health care professionals need the assistance of poison control centers. Mr. Yuck we love you!
Every 30 minutes tipping furniture will send a child to the ER
And roughly 67% of them involve toddlers. Often it seems anything involving children can be twice as frightening. Please protect our children, they are super precious.