4 Common Home Safety Myths You Should Stop Believing In

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Mashum Mollah

Release Date

Monday, March 18, 2024


Ensuring your home's safety is a top priority for every homeowner. Sure, we all want to feel safe in our homes.

But every so often, our well-meaning assumptions can lead us astray when it comes to home security. Many myths and misconceptions also lead us to make uninformed choices, leaving our homes vulnerable. 

In this blog, we'll debunk four common home safety myths you should stop believing in to help you better protect your property and loved ones.

Myth #1: “I’ll Smell a Gas Leak Right Away”

It's a dangerous misconception that you'll always detect a gas leak by smell. While some natural gas has a “rotten egg” or sulfur-like scent added for safety, there have been instances where leaks were odorless. 

Additionally, if you're asleep or away from home, even a strong smell might not alert you. The same can be said if the leak originates from an appliance vent or chimney. The gas will dissipate before reaching your nose. This undetected gas build-up can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal, or even lead to explosions.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent but deadly byproduct of incomplete gas combustion in appliances. According to the CDC, CO poisoning causes over 100,000 emergency room visits every year in the US. Moreover, at least 420 people fall prey to it every year. Its colorless, odorless nature makes it incredibly dangerous, as victims often don't recognize the symptoms until it's too late.

The Fix: Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home. Furthermore, consider installing gas detectors near any gas-powered appliances. 

These devices can alert you to potential leaks, even when you can't smell them, providing an essential safeguard for your family's well-being. Perform maintenance checks regularly per the manufacturer's instructions. And always have your gas company's emergency number on the speed dial, in case you ever suspect a leak.

Myth #2: “My Water Is Fine, It Looks and Smells Normal”

Just because your water looks clear and has no odor doesn't necessarily mean it's free from toxins.

Many of the most dangerous water contaminants cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. Bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals, nitrates, PFAS, and other impurities can lead to health problems with long-term exposure, even if your water seems perfectly fine. According to the US Geological Survey, over 45% of the country’s tap water is exposed to one or more types of PFAS chemicals. 

Furthermore, another study mentions that over 1160 community water systems were found to be in serious violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Sadly, even in areas with treated water, contamination can occur. A prime example is the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident, where toxic solvents polluted the base's drinking water for decades, leading to numerous health issues and the Camp Lejeune lawsuit to seek compensation for those affected.

The Fix: Test your water. Simple home kits provide a starting point, or you can have a professional lab analyze a sample. If contamination is detected, there are filtration and treatment options available to help ensure your water is safe.

This proactive measure can help identify any potential contaminants and ensure you're taking the necessary steps to safeguard your family's well-being.

Are PFAS Harmful to My Health?

Yes, according to TorHoerman Law, there’s research that proves PFAS exposure causes health issues like thyroid problems, immune system dysfunction, high cholesterol, and even some cancers.

Myth #3: “My Neighborhood Is Safe, I Don’t Need an Alarm System”

While living in a low-crime area can provide a sense of security, it's still crucial not to let your guard down. Even in the safest neighborhoods, burglaries, and home invasions can occur when you least expect them.

Relying solely on your neighborhood's reputation for safety is a risky assumption. Opportunistic criminals may target homes they perceive as easy targets, regardless of the area's overall crime rate. Investing in a reliable home security system is a wise precaution. Modern alarm systems go beyond theft protection. 

They can integrate smoke detectors for fire alerts, medical alert systems for seniors or those with health conditions, and provide remote monitoring, for peace of mind even when you're away from home. 

The fix: Consider a security system with layers of protection, like cameras, smart lights, and professional monitoring for the quickest response time in case of an emergency. These systems can be customized to fit your home and offer benefits beyond deterring intruders.

Are Home Security Systems Expensive?

Answer: Costs vary, but there are affordable options. Basic DIY systems can be cost-effective, while professionally monitored systems offer more advanced features.

Myth #4: “Only Old Homes Have Mold Problems”

It's a common misconception that only older homes are susceptible to mold issues. In reality, mold can grow in any home, regardless of its age, if the conditions are favorable to its growth.

Mold can be found in any moisture-heavy place, such as leaky pipes, poor ventilation, condensation buildup, or even a damp basement in a new home. Some of the most common indoor molds, according to the CDC, are Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium. If left unchecked, it spreads quickly and can cause allergies, asthma, and other health issues, especially after prolonged exposure. 

Never assume a newer home is immune to mold. Even newly constructed homes can develop mold problems due to factors like improper insulation, leaks, or high indoor humidity levels.

The Fix: Be vigilant about moisture control. Fix leaks promptly, use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, and look for signs like musty odors, visible mold growth, or unexplained health symptoms. 

Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers. Keep the humidity levels as low as you can. Ideally, keep them between 30% and 50% daily. If you suspect a serious mold infestation, consider professional testing and remediation.

In conclusion, staying safe isn't about being fearful; it's about being informed. Especially when it comes to home safety. 

By recognizing these home safety myths, you're empowered to take proactive steps toward a safer environment. Remember, a little vigilance and the right precautions can go a long way in ensuring your peace of mind and preventing potential disasters. Stay informed, stay proactive, and prioritize your home's security — it's an investment that pays off in countless ways.

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