By Tom Lazzara
How safe is your home? Now, I’m not talking about dead bolt locks, alarm systems, and motion detectors – all good ideas and excellent, beneficial deterrents to robbery and theft. Rather, I’m talking about other safe ideas, such as radon gas detectors!
First of all, you can't see smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year, because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. For more detailed information on A Citizen's Guide to Radon visit the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html. The good news is that testing your home for radio is easy, and fixing the problem is not expensive.
The safety-conscious homeowner checks his/her home on a regular basis to curb issues such as: poor air quality, allergy protection, mold reduction, dust mites infestation, unsafe drinking water, and other issues that can negatively affect the safety of your inside environment. The key to some of these issues is a dry home with no moisture problems. In most cases mold growth needs moisture. Leaks in roofs, plumbing, and basements can be eliminated with a good visual inspection every few months. When was the last time you looked in your attic? A handy man can look for you if you can’t. Mold forming on rafters and other roof members is normally caused by poor attic ventilation and is easily correctable. Please visit Alliance for Healthy Homes at http://www.afhh.org for more information.
One of my safe home projects is to suggest that my clients, customers, and friends get a carbon monoxide detector if they have gas hot water heaters, gas furnaces, or use gas fireplaces. Again, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to make your home safe.
Two other ways to make your home safe include investigating for chemical issues both inside and outside of your home and examining the physical structure of the home itself. For example, most experts believe that lead poisoning, insecticides, and other risks that can be easily controlled are causes of health problems. Hiring a certified home inspector to look for these types of chemical issues will be an excellent investment in your family’s health and happiness. Also, checking the outside of your home can also contribute to a safe inside environment. Cleaning downspouts and gutters and keeping the grade (slope of the land) away from your home are other safe ideas. All of these simple ideas can help you to review your safe home environment and make inexpensive, though potentially life-saving changes quickly.