Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Every homeowner has a never-ending to-do list. There are everyday chores such as washing the dishes, weekly chores such as doing laundry, and occasional or seasonal chores such as mowing the grass or washing the windows. Have you ever thought that basic household chores can be dangerous?
Many people don't give home maintenance tasks a second thought, but there are real dangers associated with seemingly simple activities that you must be aware of. Here are four potentially dangerous household chores and tips to make them safer.
1. Changing a Lightbulb
How do you change a lightbulb? Instead of the opening line to a joke, this important safety question can help you assess how dangerous this simple home maintenance task might be.
Say a bulb in a ceiling light in the kitchen burns out. The light is almost right over the center island. Do you get to take an extra minute to grab the light-weight, foldable ladder in the hall closet, position it carefully, and slowly perform your task? Or do you climb up on the island and stretch over to the light fixture to change the bulb?
One of these options is safer for everyone. To make this job even safer, don't climb on ladders while you're alone in the house. Senior citizens and children should ask for help from a capable friend or relative.
2. Mowing and Shoveling
Many parents want their children to contribute to household chores to teach responsibility. Mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway or sidewalk are commonly assigned to children as seemingly simple tasks.
Mowing the lawn can be quite dangerous for children because lawn mowers are powerful, heavy machines that children can lose control of. A child should be at least 12 years old to operate a push mower and should only be allowed to do so after they have been properly trained by a parent or guardian.
Shoveling snow is also a potentially dangerous activity. While slipping on snow and ice are obvious concerns, there are greater dangers associated with the tools themselves. A snow shovel isn't usually very heavy, but the snow can be. Shoveling large scoops of wet, heavy snow can cause muscle strains, hernias, or even heart attacks.
A snowblower, like a lawnmower, is a heavy-duty machine that should only be used by healthy adults or trained teenagers who are at least 16 years old.
3. Cooking on the Stove
A hot oven is an obvious danger in a home, as are live stovetop burners, but there are other dangers associated with cooking. Even a seasoned home cook should take precautions to keep themselves and other family members safe.
Always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove; handles facing out can cause pans filled with hot food to get knocked off the stove onto people or pets, causing serious burns. Always stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.
Teach small children to stay away from the stove to avoid being hit by anything hot, like oil, that splatters during the cooking process. Keep your stovetop reasonably clean. Food debris that builds up on burners can cause kitchen fires.
4. Cleaning Windows
Cleaning windows is a globally recognized chore. It's a tedious job that can be dangerous. Climbing up and down on a ladder with a bucket of water and window cleaning tools is tricky. For windows on the second floor or higher, you usually must unhinge the frame.
While convenient, windows can be heavy, and if you aren't prepared, you might get hurt trying to open or close a window. Clean windows when someone else is home just in case you need help. If you're a senior citizen, hire a neighbor or a cleaning service to take on this task for you.
Household maintenance tasks take up enough of your free time. Don't allow injuries from poorly conceived shortcuts to ruin more fun. Even if it takes a little bit longer or requires advanced planning, choosing the safer method instead of the quick method keeps you and your family safest.
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Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.