Dangers In Your Home
Bad smells in your home may not just be unpleasant to live with – some of them could be potentially hazardous to your health. Here are odours that you don’t want to smell in your home and what you can do to get rid of them.
This one is kind of obvious – unless you’ve got a fireplace lit, any burning smell should be an immediate warning sign. Fires may not always be visible although there will generally be some smoke. Electrical fires are some of the hardest to detect as the fire may be taking place within the wall for some time before you notice – if you smell burning from an outlet and there is heat coming from it, this could be a clear sign of an electrical fire. In all cases, call the fire brigade and get out of the home.
Smelling gas in your home is never a good sign. It could be a leak from an oven hob or a pipe. In all cases, you should avoid lighting any matches or smoking as well as leaving all electric appliances and switches alone (these switches could cause electrical sparks). Having an affordable emergency plumber on call is handy for these occasions – they will be able to repair the gas leak for you. Whilst you wait for them to arrive, open all the windows, turn the gas off at the mains and wait outside your home.
Musty smells can occur for all kinds of reasons but are commonly the result of damp or mould. Most people don’t realise that living with mould can be dangerous – mould spores can cause respiratory problems and skin allergies. Keeping your home well ventilated could prevent mould, although a water leak or rising damp could also be to blame. You can clean mould off yourself with a dry sponge.
Bad bathroom smells
If there’s a nasty sewerage smell coming from your toilet that won’t go away, it could be a blockage in a pipe or a drain. On top of causing a foul smell, this odour could be potentially dangerous too. Blockages often produce sewer gas, which can be a toxic combination of methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and other gases. This can also be highly flammable making it a fire risk too. Call in a plumber to try and diagnose this problem and get rid of this smell – in the meantime, keep windows open and avoid using the toilet if you can (you may have to use someone else’s bathroom or a portaloo).
Fresh paint smell
Many of us like the smell of fresh paint and in many cases it can be harmless, however there are some paints in which this smell is the direct result of VOC chemicals. These chemicals can cause sinus irritation, nausea and headaches when breathed in, whilst lengthy exposure could cause more serious conditions such as dyspnea and even cancer. You can avoid the hazardous properties of this paint by only using low VOC paint or by staying out of your home until the paint dries and stops giving off vapours.
Gas safety is so important! If you ever suspect that something isn’t quite right, it’s a good idea to get out a gas engineer straight away to eliminate any danger. It’s a good idea to get your gas and electrical equipment checked every so often – just for peace of mind more than anything else!