Protection against accidents

What accidents could be possible because of poor housing?

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Poor housing can contribute to several types of accident including burns and electric shocks (if there is an electricity supply).

The table below shows several types of accident in the home and indicates the housing conditions that may cause them.

Possible home injuries and their contributory causes.

InjuryConditions that may cause the injury
Person falling over causing broken bones, bruising etc. Slippery floor; steps that are too high or too low
Building materials falling on people Poor structure of roof and walls
Burn Improper use of fuel; damage to electrical wires
Carbon monoxide poisoning Not extinguishing fire sources while sleeping
Chemical poisoning (a child drinking pesticide, handling drugs, etc.) Improper handling and storage of chemicals
Lack of air, breathing problems No separate kitchen; keeping children close by while cooking with wood or dung fuel
Electric shock Electrical wire is damaged by a rat; incorrect installation; overloading a circuit, etc.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is given off in incomplete combustion, when fuels don't burn properly. You can't see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, so it is very difficult for people to detect; this makes it very dangerous.

When we breathe in, oxygen is taken in through the lungs and carbon dioxide is breathed out. Haemoglobin in the red blood cells is used to carry oxygen to various parts of the body.

O2 + haemoglobin = oxyhaemoglobin

If there is carbon monoxide in the breathed-in air, it combines with haemoglobin more easily than oxygen does.

CO + haemoglobin = carboxyhaemoglobin

CO reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and poisons the body. It can lead to illness and even death.

Last modified: Wednesday, 2 July 2014, 12:25 PM