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5 alarming household safety hazards you need to know about

Posted July 19

Did you know that your mattress could be a fire hazard? Or that houseplants could be toxic? (Deseret Photo)

Although you may think of your home as a safe haven from the outside world, even the most commonplace, seemingly harmless household items may pose safety risks to your family. I’m not calling your house a death trap—but danger can lurk in unexpected places. So if you want to make your home a safer place, you can start by checking these potential everyday hazards:

1. Your houseplants might be toxic

Granted, toxic plants will pose little danger to anyone who knows not to eat or touch them, but children and pets may do just that. If you think your crawling baby might want to taste your houseplant, try to avoid any that could be poisonous, or at least keep them out of reach.

2. Garbage lids can crush little fingers

Look for trash cans with locking lids, both to prevent kids and pets from making gross messes, and to protect against crushed fingers or cuts from anything in the trash with sharp edges.

3. Old mattresses are more flammable

Any mattress made before 2007 met lower flame resistance standards than more recently manufactured ones. In fact, newer mattresses can offer up to 30 extra minutes to escape a bedroom in case of a fire.

4. Windows without blinds allow unobstructed views for burglars

Would-be thieves sometimes like to scope out floor plans, valuables and other pertinent information before choosing a target. If you block their view with window shades or curtains, you’ll hamper their ability to make a plan, and thus discourage them from targeting your home.

5. Kitchen ranges can tip over

Getting burned might be the first danger that comes to mind when you think of stovetop hazards, but don’t neglect to secure your oven in case children lean on it and cause it to topple. Check other furniture as well, such as dressers or bookcases that your child might try to climb on.

At the end of the day, you can’t protect against every danger that your loved ones face in the world. But you can do your best to make your home a safer place by removing these surprising hazards.

Kelsey Down is a member of the Deseret Connect team, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and editing. She loves to read and write about current social issues. Follow her on Twitter @kladown23.

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