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Hidden Home Dangers: Simple fixes that will keep you safe

You probably didn’t know that your home might have some hidden dangers. Consumer Reports has some advice so you can identify the problem before a disaster strikes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – You probably didn’t know that your home might have some hidden dangers.

Consumer Reports has some advice so you can identify the problem before a disaster strikes.

Kitchen

While it’s the heart of the home -- it can be an injury hot spot.

  • Fix old wires: Up-to-date wiring is extra important. If it’s not up-to-date it can spark fires when appliances power up.
  • Be sure to have GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets. Those are the ones with the reset buttons. When they detect any variation from normal current an internal switch cuts the flow of electricity.
  • Monitor refrigerator and freezer temperatures to prevent food poisoning if your fridge is on the fritz.
  • Don’t store a fire extinguisher under a sink. Leaks could damage the device.

Bathroom

  • Use rubber-backed rugs to avoid slips and falls.
  • Fix shower doors because there is a possibility of it shattering. Shower and tub doors were linked to over 300 injuries.
  • Glass could also shatter if doors aren’t aligned properly when they are installed or if they become loose over time. So repair or replace any glass enclosure that is damaged or scratched.

Laundry Room

Local fire departments nationwide responded to almost 14,000 dryer fires in 2020 -- and a common culprit: lint.

  • Clean your vents: Have your dryer vent cleaned and inspected annually by a professional and clean the lint filter before each use. Signs of a clogged vent could be taking longer than usual for clothes to dry or if the laundry room is starting to feel like a sauna.
  • Don’t forget to lock up laundry pods and detergent. Even touching the pods and then rubbing your skin or eyes can cause harm. Last year there were 9,548 calls to poison control centers involving children 5 and younger who ingested or touched laundry pods. So store laundry pods on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet.

Bedroom

Usually a bedroom is a safe haven, but always remember to secure that furniture.

Think about dressers, bookcases, and large TVs. Thousands of accidents happen each year and about less than a third of Americans actually say they anchor any of their furniture.


About the Authors:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.