This past weekend was a tough one here in New York. Twenty inches of snow fell in my town. Some towns even got thirty inches. But it is winter, so the snow is expected. What surprised me about this blizzard, however, was not the amount of snowfall we received (even though the weatherman told us nine inches of snowfall maximum), but the amount of homes that went on fire. In fact, two of the homes were right near mine. So today I would like to remind everyone how important it is to keep your home safe through the rest of the winter and into spring.
When trying to keep your home danger-free, here are some things to consider:
– Check for signs of water leakage and water damage (leaky pipes, damage to external part of house, etc.). Fix them to prevent mold.
– Large amounts of moisture can create breeding grounds for bacteria, mold, dust, pollen, mites and dander. Change filters and keep humidity level between 30% to 50%.
– Prevent dust in the home as much as possible. Use a HEPA filter vacuum, leave shoes at the door, change air conditioning filters monthly, avoid smoking in the home, declutter, clean your home at least once a week.
– Lessen toxic cleaning chemicals in your home by using natural homemade cleaners and green cleaning methods.
– Reduce exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by switching to low VOC products.
– Limit your formaldehyde intake by using non-toxic, formaldehyde-free products. Formaldehyde is found in glues, paints and adhesives. Use fans and open windows to clean your air.
– Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
– Have your home tested for radon and asbestos.
– Install smoke alarms in your home. Also, prevent electrical failure – check circuit breakers. Faceplates should cover switches and outlets. Check wattage in bulbs. Make sure electrical appliances are in good working condition and do not overheat.
– Avoid using toxic pesticides inside and outside of the home.