You probably already know that you should avoid eating fatty foods and smoking to protect your heart, but did you know that there are some heart dangers lurking around your home? Here’s how to find these hidden heartbreakers and put the smackdown on them before they cause problems.
3 Ways to Protect Your Heart (That You Never Thought of)
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1. Shock to the heart (And you’re to blame)
Yeah, you know electric shocks are dangerous but did you know they can cause permanent heart damage? Even a low voltage shock can cause heart arrhythmias.¹
Luckily, it’s easy to avoid electric shocks around the home:
- Ensure that extension cables and electric cords aren’t worn or frayed. If they have nicks in the plastic coating or you see exposed wires, toss the cord and replace it with a new one.
- Make sure your hands are dry before you plug in your hair dryer or any other appliance. Even a little wetness can cause a shocking experience.
- Don’t keep your coffee machine (or any appliance) right next to the sink. A splash of water while you’re doing dishes can lead to a nasty shock. Or, if you're clumsy like me, you may knock the whole appliance into the dishwater.
Here are some more tips for preventing electrical hazards.
2. Heart of gas
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Gas can cause uncomfortable heartburn, but a gas outside your body can do more than just cause an achy chest.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas that can cause heart and brain damage.² The gas can replace the red blood cells in your body and, after extended exposure, can kill you.
Since this gas is virtually impossible to detect, your best bet is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. As soon as the device detects the gas, it will sound an alarm so you can get out of your house and call for help.
Learn more about carbon monoxide and find out if where you live puts you at higher risk in our report, Most (and Least) Risky States for Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning.
3. Don’t go breaking your heart
Not to give you even more reason to procrastinate fixing up your house but breathing in the vapors from certain DIY products can cause heart damage. Give your heart a break and always use cleaning products, pesticides, and paint solvents in well-ventilated areas.
Never mix cleaning supplies, even for a satisfying TikTok. Some common cleaning product ingredients, bleach and ammonia, can create a deadly gas when mixed.
- International Journal of the Cardiovascular Academy, Mehmet ZihniBilik, “Unexpected guest: Atrial fibrillation due to electrical shock,” March 2016. Accessed February 7, 2022.
- The Mayo Clinic, “Carbon monoxide poisoning,” October 16, 2019. Accessed February 7, 2022.
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