Indoor home hazards can have negative effects on health including lead poisoning, carbon monoxide exposure and injuries such as falls. Despite the many hazards in homes, these health issues are preventable. It is important to have a healthy home to reduce rates of lead poisoning, asthma and falling hazards.
You can make your home healthy by conducting an inspection of your home keeping in mind the seven elements of a healthy home which are as follows:
• Keep it dry. Prevent water damage and mold growth by checking your plumbing, your roof and your draining system for leaks. Make sure your basement remains dry.
• Keep it clean. Remove clutter and contaminants from your home. Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum and wet cleaning methods to remove small dust particles and lead-based paint dust, if present.
• Keep it safe. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Put fire extinguishers in your home. Address possible home safety hazards, which can include uneven steps or missing railings.
• Keep it well ventilated. Increase the amount of fresh air in your home. Eliminate tobacco smoke and test your home for radon and carbon monoxide.
• Keep it contaminant-free. Reduce your exposure to lead and other contaminants in your home. If your home is connected to a well, have the water tested regularly.
• Keep it well maintained. Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. Check your gutters, downspouts, air filters, heating system and batteries in smoke alarms regularly.
• Keep it pest-free. Seal cracks and openings to prevent insects and rodents from entering your home. Keep food in airtight containers and clean up any spills and extra food immediately.
For more information, contact the Environmental Health Division at the Delaware General Health District at (740) 368-1700 or find additional information on the Healthy Homes page of the Ohio Department of Health’s website.
Information for this story came from the Delaware General Health District < www.delawarehealth.org >.
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