While living in an older building can be charming, there are often hidden dangers that could cause severe injury, illness, and chronic conditions. Older homes and apartments are full of potential health hazards from deteriorating infrastructure to lead paint. Property owners may not take note of this during inspections. The best way to avoid and reduce these potential hazards is to become aware of their sources. This list breaks down three potential dangers lurking within older homes.
Outdated Electrical Wiring
Wiring techniques have been vastly improved to maximize both efficiency and safety. However, obsolete wiring within older homes could increase the risk of fires. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report, “For the past ten years, electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming an average of nearly 350 lives each year.” Issues with electrical wiring each year cause over 40 thousand fires.
According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause various health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs.” It can also cause “behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.” Before 1978, the federal government did not regulate the use of lead paint in homes and apartments. This means families living in older homes are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning.
Before the federal government banned asbestos, it was widely used as a construction material for office buildings, train stations, apartments, homes, and more. However, asbestos has been flagged by numerous health organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for being a cancer-causing substance that can lead to long-term, life-threatening illness. The use of asbestos in homes wasn’t banned until the 1970s. However, any asbestos present within homes built before the ban was allowed to remain. Older homes are particularly susceptible to having asbestos in their construction.
Contact a New York Premises Liability Lawyer
Property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their guests. You may be entitled to pursue legal action if you or a loved one has experienced illness, injury, or death due to a negligent property owner. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our knowledgeable team of attorneys will fight for the financial compensation you and your loved ones deserve.