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How to Make a Healthy Home

12 SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER & HEALTHIER

WRITTEN BY MIKE HOLMES

It’s nice to remember that you don’t have to spend a bundle of money to make your home safe.

In this article from Makeitright.ca, Mike Holmes goes over some simple steps you can do to make your home safer.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 1

CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS

On average, there are 2-5 times more pollutants inside your home than outside. Certain furnace filters capture more pollutants than others.

For example, Filtrete’s Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filters can help capture up to 93 percent of large airborne particles. That includes dust, pollen, mold spores and dust mite debris. They can also pick up to 4 times more microscopic particles, such as smoke, smog, pet dander and particles that carry bacteria and viruses. Remember to replace furnace filters at least once every 3 months, once a month during the winter and summer, and once every 2 weeks when renovating.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 2

WATCH OUT FOR LEAKS

It’s important to fix any leaks in your home. They are a key contributor to mold growth. Check faucets, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and basement drains near the sump pump. If you see mold clean it with a solution of soap and water, because it can lead to respiratory issues and poor air quality in your home.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 3

BE PREPARED FOR FIRE!

Keep fire extinguishers handy around the house. Keep them in at-risk areas in your home, including the kitchen, basement and bedrooms. Make sure your family knows how to use them and remember to check their expiration dates. If they’ve expired, they should be replaced.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 4

CHECK FOR RADON

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium in soil and rock starts to break down. When this gas accumulates in a home it can be very dangerous, as radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The only way to know for sure if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to test for it. A short-term radon test kit can indicate if your home has a radon problem. Test in the lowest lived-in level of your home.

If it tests positive for radon you should consider getting your home tested for radon by professional, such as a trained home inspector.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 5

CHECK SMOKE ALARMS & CO DETECTORS

Protect your family from these silent killers. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every floor of your home. Change the batteries every 6 months and replace detectors every 10 years. Older homes often have outdated devices, which should be replaced.

Make sure to test alarms every month by pushing the test button. If you’re not sure if your detectors are working properly replace them with new ones. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 6

KEEP ON TOP OF MAINTENANCE

All homes require maintenance – even new ones.

What homeowners often brush off as minor issues—like cracks in the foundation and plumbing leaks—can often lead to bigger problems, like deterioration and wood rot, or unhealthy living conditions due to insufficient moisture control and mold. Taking care of small repairs as they show up avoids bigger problems, which can save you time and money.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 7

AVOID SCALDING

The safest setting for residential hot water heaters is 48 to 49 degrees Celsius, or 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set water heaters below this temperature to avoid potential scalding. Also consider adding anti-scald devices, such as valves, special showerheads or faucets with LED lighting that indicate when hot water is running.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 8

CORRECT DANGEROUS ELECTRICAL

Check all heat sources in your home, including space heaters. Make sure they’re safe and working properly. And remember to unplug appliances when they’re not being used.

Overloaded wiring or plugging too many appliances into a single receptacle can cause electrical sparks that can lead to fires. If you smell or see any signs of burning near an outlet, remove anything that is plugged in. Then hire a licensed electrician to repair it immediately.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 9

CLEAN UP GREASE

Over time, grease can build up around the stove, which can lead to a kitchen fire!

Protect your home and your family. Clean stove grates and burners regularly with soap and water.

Mike Holmes Safety Tip 10

CONSIDER WATER FILTRATION

Help your family drink cleaner better-tasting water. If you’re worried about lead, VOCs or pharmaceuticals in your water, install an under-sink high-performance drinking water system.

It’s good for you, the environment and it helps you save money on bottled water costs.

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