1. Falls

Whether its slipping on a wet floor after a shower or falling down the stairs, injuries due to falls are one of the most common household hazards.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Staircases: Make sure all staircases have solid handrails, adequate lighting, and safety gates if there are small children in the home.
  • Bathrooms: Secure rugs to avoid slipping and pooling of water on slick surfaces. Make sure showers and bathtubs have safety rails to assist family members old and young in safely getting in and out.

2. Fire Hazards

Everything from candles to an unattended iron could lead to an accidental fire in your home, but there is a lot you can do to prevent a fire from starting.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Fire Alarms: Make sure fire alarms are installed on all levels, and regularly check and change the batteries to make sure you’ll have adequate warning in the unlikely event there is a fire.
  • Candles: Never leave candles unattended or near loose cloth like drapes or throw pillows.
  • Appliances and Outlets: Make sure that all appliances are in good working order and that wires are not frayed. Don’t overload electrical outlets, in fact it’s smart practice to unplug small appliances like toasters when not in use.
  • Gas Appliances: Make sure you do not leave a stove on. Check that stove, oven, and any other gas utility appliance has been shut off prior to leaving your home, or before going to bed for the night.

3. Carbon Monoxide

Accidental poisoning due to high levels of carbon monoxide in the home is becoming more common. What makes carbon monoxide so threatening is that it’s virtually impossible to detect by smell, sight, or sound.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Detectors and Alarms: You can keep your family safe by installing a carbon monoxide detector that will alert you if carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels in your home. As an extra measure, secure your home with a monitored home security system that also has a carbon monoxide detector.

4. Choking Hazards

From a bit of dinner going down the wrong way to a youngster accidentally swallowing a small item, choking is scary. The biggest household choking hazards come from small toys and hard foods that easily block airways.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Look Around: To keep your home choke-free, regularly inspect toys for loose parts and scour floors for small toys or other items that have rolled under furniture where little hands might easily find them.
  • Keep Dangers Out of Reach: Be sure to keep small, hard foods like nuts or hard candies out of reach of children, and make sure everyone takes time to properly chew their food at the dinner table.
    Same goes for toys, loose change, or parts of furniture that might have come loose.

5. Sharp Objects

It’s not difficult to understand the danger of sharp objects. Unfortunately there are a number of necessary items with sharp edges that are used both inside and outside your home.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • In the Kitchen: Accidents with kitchen knives or graters can lead to a nasty cut that might even need stiches. The best way to steer clear of cutting yourself – or worse – is to make sure all sharp objects are properly stored, and even locked up if there are children in the home.
  • In the Yard: Rakes, saws, and lawn mowers all present a potential threat. Always clean up tools after use and lock them in a shed or garage where children can accidentally stumble across them. When items are in use, be sure you are free from distractions, and avoid rushing while using a lawnmower or weed whacker.

6. Paints and Chemicals

You just finished re-painting the living room and can’t wait to show off your work to friends and family. But before you call everyone over, make sure you haven’t accidentally created any safety hazards.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Paint: Even paint that isn’t lead-based needs to be properly stored and kept out of reach of children. And never put paint in a container other than the one it came in. If your child mistakes paint for a drink or other item, you can end up in a scary situation.
  • Chemicals: Keep all household cleaners in a cupboard with a safety lock to keep kids from accidentally finding them. Lock up pesticides and items like turpentine in a cupboard in the garage or shed.

7. Window Cords

Cords on window dressings like blinds or curtains can present a strangling hazard to small children and infants.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Location: Never place a crib or bed under a window with dangling cords.
  • Cut it Out: To keep children from getting tangled up, either secure all cords out of reach or trim them to a length that is only accessible to the adults in the home. Better yet, trade out window treatments for designs without cords.

8. Bathrooms

The old rumor that most household accidents happen in the bathroom persists because it’s true. In addition to risk of slipping and falling, the bathroom is also home to chemicals in soaps, makeup, and perfumes. With so many potential dangers lurking in this one, small room, it’s crucial to be careful.
Steps to take to minimize the risks:

  • Medications: Put locks or safety latches on cupboards that contain medications and toiletries. If you have prescription narcotics, it's wise to keep them in a completely separate place, safely locked where no one but the person who needs them is able to gain access.
  • Slipping: Install grab bars and other supports to help people get in and out of the shower.