7 Ways to Make Your Home Healthy and Safe for Your Family
Making your home healthy and safe doesn’t have to be costly and overwhelming. Some of these fixes are simple and easy, yet they give you a chance to re-examine a lifetime of habits. Just a couple of changes can make your home a much better place for your family.
Monitor Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless and colourless gas that can be deadly, especially for kids. Low to moderate levels of carbon monoxide may cause flu-like symptoms. Oil, wood, coal, charcoal, and natural gas are fuels that can produce carbon monoxide. Get someone to inspect your heating system (flues and chimneys as well) every year. Install CO alarms outside bedrooms and other areas where your family spends a lot of time. Cars, power washers, lawnmowers, and portable generators can also produce CO, so make sure all of your equipment works well.
Guard Against Scalding
Hot water burns like fire, or at least it feels like it. We often think that our bathtub may be a drowninghazard. However, burns are a bigger threat. If a toddler or baby is exposed to 60°C hot water, it can scald them in less than 5 seconds. To prevent that, set your water heater to 48°C.
Rein in the Dust
House dust can aggravate allergies. Some types of dust contain chemicals that can be more dangerous than pesticides, lead, and other nasty substances. If you can, throw out wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile, cork, and wood are more expensive flooring options, but they are not as big dust and allergen collectors as carpeting. Get a powerful vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
Make sure your ductwork is up to par. Faulty ductwork harbours dust and spreads it around the house. Dust doesn’t just trigger allergies; it is also highly flammable. In other words, your old ducts are a safety hazard, especially if you rely heavily on your HVAC system in the winder. When temperatures drop, homeowners rely on insulation to keep the air in the ducts warm. But, badly-installed insulation can make matters worse as it is another fire hazard, on top of the dust that may be inside the ducts. Solving dust problems is not one of the most affordable items on this list, but it certainly is cost-effective in the long run. Consider hiring a professional to inspect your ductwork.
Ditch the Chemicals
Avoid using chemical-based cleaners and pesticides. Replace them with plant-based products, basic soap and water, or essential oils. Toxic chemicals in cleaners may be carcinogens and can aggravate asthma. Lemon, vinegar, and baking soda are also great natural cleaning solutions. If these are not an option, go with cleaners that do not contain ammonia or chlorine. If your cleaners make your lungs constrict, it’s time to throw them out. Look for ones that say, ‘phosphate-free,’ ‘petroleum-free‘ or ‘biodegradable.’
Store Food in Glass
Avoid storing leftovers in plastic. Plastic can leach hormone-like chemicals and toxins into your food. That matter can throw your hormones out of balance. Glass doesn’t do that. On top of that, it’s recyclable and reusable.
Don’t use Teflon
Cook with stainless steel or cast iron. You can also use silicone baking moulds. Non-stick cookware may be more convenient, but it can expose your family to toxic fumes. Materials that are used to make the surface non-stick are known to emit such fumes.
Filter Tap Water
Many people wrongly assume that bottled batter is better than tap water. In fact, it’s the opposite. According to Prof Paul Younger, of Glasgow University, “Water coming from U.K. taps is the most stringently-tested in the world.” Only 0.04% of 2014 water quality tests showed that the tested water failed to meet the standards.
You can use a water dispenser with a filter to be absolutely sure the water doesn’t have traces of pesticides, chlorine, lead, and E.coli. Filtering the water is very simple. You just need to change the filters regularly.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.