Home Hazards



Your home is your sanctuary. Your safe space… or is it? Being aware of hazards within your home is the first step to preventing them.


Our latest blog looks at some of the most common hazards that homeowners experience, and ways in which you can ensure that your family remains safe in the space they love most.



Fire, poisoning and allergies are some of the most frequent domestic risks. Your furniture, appliances and other items also present potential dangers like trips & falls, choking, lacerations and burns. 


Did You Know: According to information from the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa, accidents that happen at home are among the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14 in South Africa.

It is always beneficial to do your own research on the issue and assess safety in your dwelling. This list of common hazards is not all encompassing, and we always recommend that you assess your home for other hazards you might encounter.


home hazards



Fires in the home can be highly destructive and potentially deadly, not only to your property but also to the people you live with. 

To ensure your safety and that of your family, it is essential that you have a working smoke alarm installed in each room of the house, tested regularly and a fire plan with clear safety protocols in place. 

    • Fireplaces: To stay safe from fires, it’s imperative to get your fireplace inspected & cleaned by a certified expert before use. This precautionary measure helps protect you and your family from any potential harm caused by faulty fireplaces.


    • Extension cords: Although useful, it is important to carefully consider when using extension cords as they can cause a range of electrical hazards if not handled properly. Ensure that the outlets you use are correctly rated and able to handle the required power load.


    • Wiring & electrics: Keep an eye on any potential electrical issues in your home, such as a flickering light or a burnt out fuse and get an expert to examine the wiring. This helps to ensure that the wiring is up-to-date, reducing the risk of fire due to any electrical defects.


  • Candles: While candles can create a soothing, fragrant atmosphere and add to the ambience of any room, you should always remember to extinguish the flame before you leave to avoid a potential fire hazard.



Poisoning is a serious risk that can affect households of all kinds. Common items such as cleaning and maintenance supplies, medications, and petrol can be highly toxic if ingested by children. 

By taking certain precautions and keeping these items in a secure, locked area, families can greatly reduce the chance of poisoning accidents occurring in their home.

It is also important to store poisonous or toxic substances in a way that prevents them from being mistaken for something drinkable, such as using an empty soft drink bottle. Appropriate storage containers should be used to ensure the safety of those who may come into contact with the item, and the environment in which it is stored.



Drowning is a real danger, especially for young children, and pools and other water-related hazards such as bathtubs present a heightened risk. It is important to be alert when these areas are in use or if they are not properly secured or monitored. 

By installing pool alarms, covers and other safety measures, parents can help reduce the risk of drowning and keep their children safe.



Falls are a major cause of preventable injury and hospitalization. Poor lighting, wet floors and areas near stairs or in other hazardous areas can result in serious injuries. To protect yourself, it is important to invest in proper lighting fixtures and take precautions to reduce the risk of falls such as using handrails when going up and down stairs. Additionally, be aware of any potential stumbling blocks such as rugs, furniture, or clutter that can interfere with balance.

Wearing the right shoes around the house can help prevent slips and falls, which can be especially dangerous for older adults. Rubber-soled shoes provide good traction on most flooring surfaces, and wearing no shoes or socks at all can help protect against slipping on smooth floors. Not all floors are created equal, however; rugs and carpets may require different footwear to avoid slipping and trips.


home hazards



Choking and strangulation are a potentially serious danger at home, especially with food that isn’t prepared correctly. To reduce the risk of this happening, cut food into small pieces, remind everyone to eat slowly and accompany meals with a glass of water to make dry food easier to swallow.

Every parent knows that young children are curious and can easily put items in their mouth. In addition to food, there are objects in your home, such as cords and small toys, that could be dangerous. To keep your kids safe, consider doing a sweep around your home where children might be present, to ensure choking and other hazards are minimized. 


  1. Make sure everyone in your household knows the appropriate emergency telephone numbers.For an emergency that needs police response, you should dial 10111. For emergencies that require an ambulance, dial 10177.Make sure you are aware of your location in order to communicate it accurately and promptly. It would be wise to keep a list of these numbers at more than one spot in the house e.g. near the phone and stuck to the refrigerator so that they can be easily accessed when needed.

  3. Read all package inserts, labels and instructions carefully.Product developments, upgrades and ingredient changes may alter the way they should be used. Adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines will minimize any potential risks associated with using them.

  5. Attend a first aid course; basic first aid skills are beneficial for everyone. It is particularly important for people who work with children, such as parents, teachers, and nannies, to know basic first aid. Emergencies are an ever-present reality and can take place anywhere, even at home. Having a basic knowledge of first aid can prove invaluable in saving someone’s life in such scenarios, and being aware of the necessary steps to take can help minimize the risk posed by any accidents. It is essential to have a fully-stocked medical aid kit in the house. Ensure that everyone knows its exact location in case of an emergency.

  7. Identify any potential hazards in and around your home.These could include objects, products or even particular situations that could pose a risk to your health and safety.Hazardous items are not restricted to household cleaners, medications and acidic cosmetic products like nail-polish remover. Perfumes, bath oils, mouthwash, aftershave and vitamins can also be included in the list. It is important to store these hazardous items safely and; out of reach for safety purposes.

  9. Teaching children to be proactive in terms of their safety is an important part of safety at home.It’s important to teach kids about personal safety, home safety and how they can protect themselves.Rewards are a great way to motivate them and reinforce the importance of being prepared in any situation. With the right tools, you can help your children develop skills that will stay with them for life such as knowing how to call for help or how to respond in an emergency situation.


Having the correct Home and Contents Insurance in place protects your property in case of an accidental fire or fire-related incidents, as well as a host of other common accidents. 


The team of experts at Genesis can advise on various policies to cover your house, contents and personal possessions, so you can select the most appropriate coverage for your needs.