How to protect your family from hidden hazards in your home

How to protect your family from hidden hazards in your home

What’s better than home sweet home? How about home safe home, or at least a safer home? Consumer Reports has ways to make your space more secure by protecting yourself from fires, furniture tip-overs, and other dangers.

It’s a frightening moment: Walking into your laundry room and instead of finding fresh clean clothes, you’re greeted by your dryer on fire. Lint is a common culprit. It’s estimated that about a third of dryer fires are caused by vents clogged by flammable fibers like lint. So it’s very important to have your dryer vent cleaned annually.

And CR found the kitchen to be particularly dangerous, with over 10,000 injury reports in a 10-year period. Many of the incidents include burns and cuts, but some are traced to the refrigerator.

Your fridge may not be working properly, and you may not know about it before it’s too late and someone in your family gets a bad case of food poisoning. Signs of a fridge on the fritz include softer than normal butter, condensation in the fridge, or ice on the walls of the freezer. Keep a thermometer in your fridge and one in your freezer. The fridge should be at 37 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer zero degrees.

With your food and family’s stomachs safe and sound, it’s time to secure the furniture around your home.

Here’s how: Anchor dressers to the studs in your wall. Never use drywall anchors or toggles, because they can pull out too easily.

And use a wall mount for your TV whenever possible. If you can’t mount it, make sure the TV is on a stable piece of furniture, and anchor the TV to the wall as you would a dresser.

If you’re looking for a new dresser, you can check out CR’s tests to identify stable ones.