The home is where the family comes together to experience security, shelter and safety.
Because we spend more than 50 percent of our lives indoors, it is important to make sure
our families have a healthy home in which to live. Children are at a higher risk because
they are still growing, discovering their environment and spending much of their time
where many hazards exist.
1. Keep your home dry.
Prevent water from entering your home through leaks in roofing systems or poor drainage,
and check your interior plumbing for leaks. And remember, most basement water issues
are related to poor gutters, downspouts and foundation grading; correcting these issues will
go a long way towards reducing moisture in the home.
2. Keep your home clean.
Control sources of dust and contaminants, creating smooth and cleanable surfaces,
reducing clutter, and using effective wet-cleaning methods. Using a HEPA (high efficiency
particulate air) vacuum helps keep dust contained and reduces the amount of dust you
inhale. Also, use safe and effective cleaning products such as those that are unscented,
biodegradable, non-toxic and have no or low VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
3. Keep your home safe.
Store poisons out of the reach of children and ensure they are properly labeled. Secure
loose rugs and loose blind cords. Keep children’s play areas free from hard or sharp
surfaces. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and since housing codes vary on
whether alarms must be hard-wired, battery powered or both, regularly check the batteries.
4. Keep your home well ventilated.
Good ventilation is vital to your family’s health and comfort. It’s most important to
ventilate your bathroom and kitchen to remove hot, moist air and contaminants from those
rooms. All vents should circulate air outside of the home.
5. Keep your home pest-free
All pests look for food, water and shelter. Using IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
techniques helps get rid of pests long term and reduces short- and long-term environmental
and health hazards. IPM techniques include actions such as sealing cracks and openings
throughout your home; storing food in pest-resistant containers; and removing hiding
places and shelter, both inside and outside the home.
6. Keep your home contaminant-free.
Reduce lead hazards in pre-1978 homes by fixing deteriorated paint. Test your home for
radon, a naturally occurring dangerous gas that enters homes through soil, crawlspaces,
and foundation crack. Install a radon removal system if levels above the EPA action-level
7. Keep your home well maintained.
Inspect, clean and repair your home routinely. Make minor repairs before they become big
problems. Use lifecycle thinking when doing repairs — this means using longer lasting,
high-quality components and finishes, simpler and higher quality equipment and
addressing existing toxins with the most permanent solution possible.