Live and Learn With Linda: Household safety tips

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Here we go again, another segment idea that came out of one of my foibles. This time a potential cleaning danger.

As I said in the segment, I was cleaning my bathroom and plopped in a bleach toilet bowl cleaner. As the product sat to do its dirty work, I decided to grab some trusty 409 to shine up the exterior. POW! Fumes suddenly overcame me and I had to run outside to breathe. Secretly I think this was a warning that I needed to find a competent house cleaner – but my husband and our budget disagreed!

Common household dangers

Ammonia + Bleach = TOXIC

Now, really I knew about this toxic combination BUT I always thought in terms of the straight stuff. What I didn’t pay attention to is that some of the fancy-named cleaners out there contain bleach or ammonia without us really knowing it. I mixed a bleach product (Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner) with 409 an ammonia based product and when the two met – I knew it!

If this should ever happen to you, IMMEDIATELY close the containers tightly and get outside for some fresh air. You’ll know it and I got dizzy right away. Watch out!

Different Brands of the Same Product

This one I didn’t know. Experts say not to mix different brands of the same product. Blue window cleaners for example. Don’t take a Windex and combine it with another brand to cut down on the number of containers, even if they look the same. There may be some little differences that chemically might cause a reaction. Caution is key.

Potential Fire Starters

Many, many, many of our common household products have the same warning – keep away from fire and flames. I’ve often said DUH to that on labels but then as I researched further I realized that DUH, I store my cleaning supplies in my laundry room which also houses my furnace which is gas which has a DUH, pilot light. Needless to say, I have to find a safer place to store combustibles. Pay attention to candles in the bathroom while spraying hairspray and even storing paint next to those pesky pilot lights – that’s a no – no.

Oily Rags
Furniture Refinishing Oil,
Deck Oils, Linseed Oil, Art Rags, Car Oil

This was a big one – and now that we’re doing a lot more on our own around the house – keep it in mind. Oily rags when stacked together can actually generate a chemical reaction that causes them to get hot and potentially catch on fire. Especially the oils listed above. If you have a lot of oily rags, get a metal can with a lid, fill it halfway with water and then submerge your rags in that. Cover it and call your city about hazardous waste pick-up in your area. For one or two rags with a bit of oil, take them outside to air dry and then put them in a zip lock bag before throwing them away. This goes for oil soaked paper towels as well.

Keep Fido Safe

We love our dogs like our kids so just keep this in mind. I was just at my vet when I learned that it’s not only chocolate that can be harmful to our pets. Keep onions, grapes and raisins out of their reach – some dogs are especially sensitive so best to be careful.

Safety Numbers

Have these numbers handy in your home just in case you need them:

Arizona Poison Control
1-800-362-0101

National Poison Control
1-800-222-1222

National Animal Poison Control
1-888-426-4435

Be safe and Live and Learn!