Follow these simple steps to make your home healthier.
Keep It Dry – Moisture in homes can lead to mold and pests, which contribute to asthma, coughing, throat irritation, and nasal stuffiness.
-Fix leaky plumbing or other unwanted sources of water.
-Keep drip pans in your AC, fridge, and dehumidifier clean and dry
-Use exhaust fans or open a window while showering or cooking
-Do not allow standing water to collect
Keep It Clean – Reduces exposure to allergens, lead, pest infestations and pesticides. Use alternative cleaners, without harmful chemicals.
-Wash mold off and dry completely. Replace moldy ceiling tiles and carpet
-Vacuum carpets and rugs weekly, preferably with a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter vacuum
-Regularly dust with a damp cloth
-Wet mop floors weekly
-Wash all bedding weekly in hot water.
-Cover mattresses and pillows with dust-proof (allergen impermeable) zippered covers.
Keep It Pest-Free – Research shows that exposure to pests cause asthma episodes in children. Also, rodents can spread infectious diseases and destroy property. Use integrated pest management techniques to control pests.
-Do not leave food or garbage out. Keep garbage sealed.
-Store food in airtight containers
-Clean food crumbs or spilled liquids right away
-Keep yards trimmed and free from debris
-Fill in cracks and holes in walls and floors
-Choose poison baits, boric acid (for cockroaches), or traps over pesticide sprays
-If sprays are necessary, ventilate the room and stay out of the treated area for hours
Keep It Ventilated –Reduces hazards of moisture, allergens, mold, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, and volatile organic compounds (found in cleaning products and air fresheners.)
-Professionally inspect heating system annually
-Replace air filters according to manufacturer’s recommendation. Use high efficiency filters.
-Never use the stove or oven for heating
-Properly ventilate the room where a wood- or fuel-burning appliance is used.
Keep It Safe – Common injuries in homes are falls, poisoning, burning, chocking and drowning.
-Keep small stoves and heaters away from furnishings, flammable materials and foot traffic
-Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level and near bedrooms
-Clean dryer vents every year to reduce fire risk
-Set hot water temperature to <120°F
-Keep passageways well-lit.
-Post the Texas Poison Center Network number nearby (1-800-222-1222)
-Prepare and practice an emergency exit plan in case of fire
-Keep keys to the burglar bars within easy access
-Keep electrical cords and appliances away from water sources
Keep It Contaminant-Free –Americans spend the majority of their time indoors, especially in winter. Limit chemicals, like pesticides and volatile organic compounds in the home.
-Minimize use of air fresheners, cosmetics, perfumes, cleaners
-Carefully follow instructions on hazardous products used in the home and make sure the area is well ventilated before use.
-Use alternative products, such as fragrance-free detergents, soaps, and lotions.
-Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in your home or car or around children.
-Until you can quit, smoke only outside away from windows and doors.
-Stay away from loose, chipping, or peeling paint.
Keep It Maintained – Poor maintenance poses risks for moisture, pests, lead and safety hazards
-Properly prepare for renovations or repairs and use lead-safe work practices.
-Check detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year when you change your clocks
-Maintain roof, gutters, and downspouts
-Promptly repair holes, cracks, and broken windows