There are various household items that Kenyans use on a daily basis that appear to be harmless but can cause injuries or even death.
The following are some of the items that, though useful, can be dangerous if not handled appropriately.
A number of Kenyan households cook with gas cylinders. While they are efficient and save time, they have also been shown to be deadly, resulting in explosions and the deaths of family members.
Gas explosions are triggered by malfunctioning equipment, such as pipelines that may leak. If the leaking gas comes into contact with an ignition source like heat or fire, it has the potential to explode.
Some of the crucial precautions that must be followed to ensure house safety include storing the cylinder upright and in a well-ventilated area away from heat, open fire, or children.
Be wary of any odors that may suggest a gas leak. Do not light a fire or turn on any electrical switches if you detect this odor. Close all doors and windows, remove the cylinder and deposit it outside the premises.
It is also critical to returning the cylinder to the point of purchase if a leak is discovered.
2. Open Extension Cords
An extension cord can be extremely dangerous if misused or overloaded. It can cause fires that can lead to deaths.
It is important to inspect all extension cords at the beginning of the day for any signs of wear or damage and remove any worn, severely discolored or damaged cords from usage immediately.
3. Faulty Shower Heads
Faulty showerheads are ticking time bombs that can kill the occupants of a property.
According to James Kimani, an electrician, most household items like water heaters can cause electrocution if not built and maintained properly.
“Some counterfeit cables will heat up and burn the insulating sheath, exposing the wire carrying the current to the water, which can be fatal,” he explained.
It is critical to have an electrician check for any loose connections on a regular basis, as the ground wire can sometimes become disconnected.
4. Slippery Floors
Slippery bathroom surfaces can lead to falls, which can be catastrophic if you strike your head or neck on a hard surface.
According to medical professionals, striking your head on a hard surface can result in a concussion. They go on to say that blood from cerebral bleeding can press against the brain and finally kill you. To minimize such accidents, correct designs for different areas in a house should be installed and careful monitoring of all the household items.
5. Cooking Jiko
A family of five was discovered dead in their home in Githurai, Nairobi County, in January 2021. Carbon monoxide poisoning caused the five to choke to death.
This family is representative of hundreds of others that perish in their sleep as a result of inhaling the lethal carbon monoxide released by the burning charcoal.
The problem is not restricted to informal settlements. Leonida Namayemba, a housekeeper of ODM Leader Raila Odinga’s Karen residence, was discovered dead in 2011 after she shut herself in one of the rooms with a jiko, hoping to remain warm.
Jikos unlike gas are regarded as silent killers by families that light them to keep warm behind closed doors during the winter.
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