Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
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Press Releases

What danger hides in your home?

OSFM | Nov 05, 2015

hidden dangers in home

While we place a heavy emphasis on the importance of smoke alarms and creating an emergency escape plan for our family in case of fire, it is also important to be vigilant about hidden dangers that are likely hidden in your home in the form of chemical hazards. Many of these chemicals can cause or contribute to the intensity of a fire in addition to severe health effects.  

For example, look around your garage! Propane cylinders, gasoline containers, motor oil, last year’s fertilizer and this year’s leftover pesticides for the flowers.

The storage shed in the back yard is a harbinger of many hazards like various poisons, some very outdated.

Under the kitchen sink is a wonderful space to set all kinds of fun stuff like carpet shampoo, oven cleaners, soaps, drain cleaners, chlorine bleach, lots of spray cans and bottles with unknown chemicals in them because we have forgotten what we used them for.

Down in the basement, you might find sawdust accumulation, lubricants, extension cords, hobby and craft materials i.e. toxic glues etc. that are hazardous if used without ventilation or mixed improperly.

How about that bathroom medicine cabinet?  Check for outdated meds, ointments, and various other medicinal items that have long past expired and may have become very toxic and dangerous over time.

And, while we are at it, if you have kids around the house, do they have access to all of these items in the various storage areas around your property?  How about securing the hazardous items and or get rid of them if they are no longer viable or usable.

Remember the hazard warning words on poison containers?  

CAUTION, meaning a low toxicity level 

WARNING, indicating a higher toxicity level

DANGER, meaning the highest level of toxicity. 

Always read and follow the directions on the label of toxic garden chemicals.  If someone gets overcome or contaminated with these chemicals, see a doctor and seal the remainder of the product container in a clear plastic bag and take that to the doctor with you.  The doctor will be able to use much information on the label to assist in treatment.