There's no place like home, especially when your home makes you feel comfortable, safe and secure.
However, hiding in most homes are some serious safety hazards. The good news is that these dangers can be easily eliminated and doing so creates a safer environment, where you and your family can grow and flourish out of harm’s way.
Protecting your home, possessions and loved ones needn't be expensive or complicated. The following safety tips will help you take simple actions to avoid any hazards or damage to your home.
Home Hazard - Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas which is colourless, odourless and tasteless. Unfortunately, our senses cannot detect it.
This means that toxic levels of CO can build up inside our homes and we have no way to detect the issue until someone becomes ill.
CO is produced whenever a material burns. The following appliances and devices produce CO:
- water heaters
- clothes dryers
- furnaces or boilers
- gas stoves and ovens
- fireplaces, both gas and wood-burning
- motor vehicles
- tobacco smoke
- power washers
- portable generators
The symptoms of CO poisoning can include:
- chest pains
- nausea (feeling sick)
- lack of energy (general lethargy)
As you can see, many of the symptoms are similar to those of the flu. This can cause people to ignore the early signs of CO poisoning.
Safety Tip - Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
To reduce the risk in your home of carbon monoxide poisoning, here are some simple steps you can take:
- Ensure the proper installation of all appliances.
- Once a year, call a qualified service agent to check your appliances.
- Once a year, call a professional to check all heating systems, chimneys and flues.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm or detector and regularly check it is in good working order. An alarm or detector will alert you if the CO levels in your home are high before it is too late
Home Hazard - Fire
Most people are aware of fire hazards and what is needed to keep your family and possessions safe from harm. However, preventative measures are often put off until it’s too late.
Some common fire hazards in the home include:
- chip pans
- open fires
- electrical equipment
Here are some basic fire-prevention recommendations:
- Talk with your family about a fire safety plan. If you have children in the home, make it fun and practice a family fire drill.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets.
- Unplug rarely used appliances.
- Turn off ovens and cookers immediately after use.
- Make sure that all appliances are in good working order.
- Keep electrical cords and wires away from high-traffic areas.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children.
- Don't leave candles unattended.
- Never leave an unattended fire in the fireplace.
- Never place anything within 1-metre of a space heater.
- At Christmas time, never leave your tree lights plugged in overnight or when leaving your home, even for a short period.
- Close doors to all rooms. This will assist in containing fire and smoke should a fire break out.
Safety Tip - Install Smoke Alarms
- There should be a smoke alarm on every floor of your home, and one in the kitchen and each of the bedrooms too.
- Test smoke alarms every month, change batteries every six months and change devices every 10 years.
- You should also keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Check it annually to make sure it's in good working order.
- When cooking, always keep a pot lid handy. If the pan catches fire, place the lid on the pot to prevent the fire from spreading. If you can't find a lid, use a damp tea towel.
- When it comes to home hazards, vigilance is the best gift that you can give your loved ones.
Home Hazards - Added Protection
Protect your family and home even further with home insurance. Allianz covers your home for fire and smoke damage. We also cover any charges incurred (up to €2,000) for calling the fire brigade to your property to deal with an incident that is insured under the policy.
Our policy gives you increased contents cover over the Christmas period.
We also provide insurance for holiday homes, landlords and renters, as well as family owner occupied home insurance.
Allianz can give you a quote in minutes and you can save 20% online on a new policy.
You can also contact us on 01 448 4848 and we’ll get the right home and contents insurance cover for you.
Having home insurance is great for added peace of mind, but avoiding the heartache in the first place is even better. Insurance claims will help in times of need, but money can't replace sentimental items like photographs and keepsakes. Make sure you are taking the right safety measures to avoid any home hazards.
Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria and policy conditions apply. Calls may be recorded.