The home is a place where we spend a large part of our lives. We eat, sleep, play and do many other things there. We are familiar with every chair, every table, every bed and every little thing that give us much comfort and pleasure. A well-maintained home is one where we go to after a hard day’s work and when we need a place to relax and rejuvenate our spirits.
Yet a comfortable and familiar home is not without danger. In fact, a home can be a very dangerous place indeed.
Consider first the electrical supply to our homes. There are instances of people connecting many electrical appliances to one single socket. I have seen one of my neighbors connecting the refrigerator, washing machine, the iron, and the kettle all into one solitary socket via all sorts of extension plugs. Such flagrant disregard for safety only meant one thing the fuse kept blowing. It was only after some explaining on my part that they realize their folly. Fortunately, theirs was a relatively new house. Old houses with old wirings would have almost certainly resulted in a fire.
Besides this overloading of electrical sockets, other electrical dangers are also present. Touching an electrical switch with a wet hand is an invitation to an electric shock. It is a simple matter of wiping- the hand dries first, yet in one’s haste in the bathroom, the hand is often quicker than the brain. It is a matter of changing one’s habit.
Wiring contractors have a habit of locating electrical sockets near the floor where a two-year-old can get at easily. It is a good idea to cover these sockets so that initiative hands do not get at them.
Most modern houses now have concealed wiring in the walls. So, a careless do-it-yourself handyman can easily give himself a nasty shock by driving an iron nail through one of these hidden wires.
Electric kettles, electric irons, and cookers are all potential dangers if used carelessly. It is up to the user to recognize the dangers so that he can safeguard himself.
Another possible source of danger comes from the cylinder of cooking gas that is present in almost every kitchen. The cylinder is made of sturdy metal and can withstand a lot of abuse. However, there is a limit to the abuse it can take. Users who connect sub-standard cylinder-heads to the cylinder and users who bump the cylinders around are all asking for trouble. There are cases of these cylinders exploding resulting in death and serious injury. A little care on the part of the user can prevent such calamity from occurring.
Knives, scissors, can-openers, and other sharp instruments are also sources of danger. Visit any hospital and one can see all sorts of people there seeking treatment for cuts and bruises caused by these instruments. Though great care may be taken while using these instruments, accidents still do happen. One cannot ascertain that a knife does not slip while cutting an apple or that glass does not break while washing it.
Other dangers include a slippery floor, protruding nails on the wall, non-drinkable liquids in unlabeled bottles, broken furniture, uncovered food, uncoiled water and numerous other things that we do not suspect as dangerous until we become a victim. Why lightning can even strike a person down right in his home! So, there is danger everywhere. We can only recognize the possible dangers and take steps to prevent them, whenever possible.