Your home should be your haven – a place for you to rest, recharge and enjoy your life. But even in the most magazine-perfect home there are a few important steps to take to keep your hideaway healthy.
Test for radon
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that can seep up from the ground anywhere in the country. You can’t see it or smell it, but long-term exposure to radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and it increases the existing risk of cancer in those who do smoke. It doesn’t matter if you have a newly built home or an old fixer-upper, your radon level could be high.
The only way to know if there is a dangerous level of radon in your home is to test for it using a do-it-yourself kit or by hiring a qualified professional. Health Canada recommends using a long-term test over three months in the fall and winter for the most accurate results. If your level is too high, you should hire a professional to fix it – it’s a usually an easy, one-day job costing about as much as a new home appliance.
Install CO alarms
Carbon monoxide, known as CO, is another deadly gas that you can’t see, taste or smell. It’s made by fuel-burning appliances like gas stoves and fireplaces. When installed, maintained and used properly, these appliances are safe. But if there’s a malfunction or not enough ventilation, CO can build up to a deadly level. You may become tired and achy and eventually lose consciousness.
Installing CO alarms on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas, is the only way to protect yourself from this deadly gas. If an alarm goes off, get everyone out immediately and call emergency services right away. There shouldn’t be damage to your home, but you’ll need to air out the home and get the source of the buildup fixed before you can return.
Replace batteries in smoke detectors
We all have smoke detectors in our homes to alert us in case of a fire, and you might know you are supposed to test them and change the batteries every six months. Put a note on your calendar to remind you when it’s time for this important step. You can also consider wiring in your smoke alarms if you ever update your electrical system. Just remember that you’ll still need back-up batteries installed in case of a power outage. Or buy ones with a built-in 10-year battery. Depending on the model, detectors must be replaced every five to 10 years.
Even though these safety steps may not be as pretty or satisfying as sprucing up your space with new paint or decor, they are crucial steps to ensure you can rest easily and safely in your home.
Find more information about radon gas at takeactiononradon.ca