13 Home Dangers
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Watch Out for These 13 Common Hazards Around the House

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13 Home Dangers
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A HOUSE IS A DANGEROUS PLACE

Despite seeming like a sanctuary from the outside world, a house is filled with lurking danger, both obvious and invisible. Every day people touch, use and walk across substances and systems that maim or kill hundreds of thousands of people every year -- sometimes while trying to make repairs to the home they live in. Educate yourself about these 13 common dangers.

Stairs
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STAIRS

Responsible for nearly 700,000 emergency room visits per year, stairs are by far the most dangerous hazard in a home, causing over 693,000 injuries a year. Although older adults are most prone to falls, the danger is significant across all age groups. Keep staircases well-lit and free of toys, shoes and other objects. Remove any loose carpeting and focus on functionality over looks when choosing banisters and railings.

Flooring
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FLOORING

Carpets, rugs and other flooring are second only to stairs when it comes to causing harm. Most of the more than 617,000 annual emergency room visits from flooring mishaps are for injuries to the head, face, and lower body. Choosing the right rug pad can go a long way in preventing falls on carpet. Wood, linoleum and other hard surfaces should be kept dry at all times, too.

Treadmills
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TREADMILLS

Treadmills injure thousands of children and adults every year. Gaps between the belt and frame can trap little fingers, while the belt can send children or adults careening off the treadmill at high speed. Dangling power cords can entangle children, too. Retired boxer Mike Tyson's four-year-old daughter was killed by a treadmill cord in 2009. Unplug treadmills when not in use, keep all cords tidy, and restrict children's access to them whenever possible.

Garage Doors
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GARAGE DOORS

Garage doors are one of the largest and heaviest moving objects in a home -- and one of the most dangerous. Garage doors cause more than 10,000 injuries per year, mostly to adults, with fingers being the most commonly injured body part. Test the electric eye and reversing mechanism -- the two main safety features -- once a month by closing the door with a roll of paper towels underneath it.

Heavy Furniture
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HEAVY FURNITURE

Unsecured furniture like bookcases, shelving units, and dressers seriously injured more than 33,000 people between 2010 and 2015, many of them young children. To prevent tipping, secure heavy furniture to studs in walls or with anchors in drywall.

Cords on Windows and Blinds
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CORDS ON WINDOWS AND BLINDS

For babies, toddlers, and small children, dangling window cords are among the most deadly hazards in the home. Deaths and serious injuries are so common that several organizations exist solely to educate the public about the danger. Use cordless window coverings or a product like the Safe-T-Shade Fashion Wand to eliminate dangling cords.

Pot Handles
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POT HANDLES

Stovetop accidents are one of the most common causes of serious burns, especially among children. Keep pot handles turned inward and away from the edges of stovetop ranges, and cook on the rear burners when possible. When cooking with oil, be especially careful to keep children a safe distance from the stove.

Flammable Materials
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FLAMMABLE MATERIALS

One home catches fire every 86 seconds in the United States. The best way to prevent injury is to have properly-placed smoke detectors that are regularly tested. Cooking, smoking and carelessness are the top three most common causes of residential fires.

Bathtubs and Showers
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BATHTUBS AND SHOWERS

More than a quarter-million people older than 15 visit the emergency room every year for injuries suffered in the bathroom. The danger is especially acute for senior citizens. Since most falls occur while getting in or out of the tub, those who are older or otherwise prone to injury should consider installing grab bars.

Dishwashers
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DISHWASHERS

More than 3,000 people are injured in dishwasher-related accidents every year. Add child-safety locks if you have small children, place knives and other sharp objects facing down, don't crowd glassware to prevent breaking and chipping, and close the door when not in use.

Latex Balloons
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LATEX BALLOONS

One in three children who die from toy-related injuries succumb to choking. A third of those choking deaths are from common latex balloons. Use mylar balloons instead of latex, and if you do choose latex balloons don't let children under four play with them or inflate them. Always discard latex balloons after they're deflated.

Button Batteries
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BUTTON BATTERIES

The small button batteries commonly used in PDAs, remote controls, watches, cameras, toys and other devices are potentially deadly. Not only are they a choking hazard for young children, once swallowed button batteries often get stuck in the child's esophagus or airway. Trapped in the body, they leech corrosive acid and quickly cause horrible internal burns and sometimes death. Always secure button batteries out of the reach of children.

Household Poisons
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HOUSEHOLD POISONS

American poison control centers receive one incident report every 15 seconds. The following items are most likely to injure or kill and should be secured out of the reach of children: medicine, cosmetics, cleaning products, laundry detergent, medical creams, pesticides, products containing alcohol, glue, paint, drain cleaners, and automotive liquids such as antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.