Healthy Home

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Three Steps to a Clean, Healthy and Safe Homes

STEP 1: Keep Homes Clean and Dry Helps to Keep the Pests Away

Damp and wet environments can become a hub for household pests like cockroaches, rodents, and molds. By keeping a clean home, you can prevent the infestation of these pests. Make sure to keep your home consistently dry. By reducing clutter and maintaining dry and clean surfaces, these pests will avoid your home.

Keep Clean

Please read and follow the label instructions carefully when using cleaning products. For example, does it suggest that you wear gloves, protective eyewear, and or masks when using a cleaning product? It is imperative not to mix cleaning products because combining the chemicals may be hazardous to your health and your home. The New York State Department of Health has additional tips for cleaning and reducing clutter.

Keep Dry

Plumbing and structural leaks happen when we do not inspect, clean, and repair our home routinely. Improving drainage for rainwater and opening windows or using an exhaust fan so steam doesn’t build up in the bathroom or kitchen. To prevent significant leakage, take care of minor repairs and problems to avoid extensive maintenance and issues later.

Pests love water and need it for survival. Also, they need food, and they do not care about sharing food with humans! This is why it is important to store your food in pest-resistant containers. Please make sure to take out the garbage frequently by taking out the trash outside of a trash can with a lid. Not doing so can create a habitat for these pests. A pest infestation can be a real inconvenience. To deal with pests, use sticky-traps and baits in closed containers or try other non-chemical management types. If you need to use a pesticide, please read the label instructions carefully and follow these guidelines provided by the New York State Department of Health to safely choose, apply, store, and dispose of pesticides. Remember, a dry clean, pest-free home is a healthy home, and just like our bodies, we have to be consistent in keeping it healthy.

STEP 2: Let Homes Breathe

We often forget to keep our homes well-ventilated. Consider our homes as a part of our bodies; it needs to breathe fresh air. Increasing the supply of fresh air can help reduce exposure to indoor asthma triggers and other contaminants. To keep your home well-ventilated, use exhaust fans and open windows, especially when cleaning, cooking, or using chemicals in your home. As we are all staying at home due to the current circumstances, please remember to get that natural fresh air for you and your home as we are staying safe. By not doing this, your house can be in danger of being filled with contaminants. Contaminants in the home may include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, environmental tobacco smoke, and carbon monoxide. The New York State Department of Health recommends keeping your home contaminant-free by testing it for radon, installing a carbon monoxide detector, using lead-safe practices to fix deteriorating lead paint, establishing a smoke-free home rule, and by storing and using chemicals, paints, and cleaning products safely. Remember to let fresh air in. While you are keeping yourself safe, make sure to keep your home safe as well.

STEP 3: A Safe Home

Our home is generally a safe place. Accidents or injuries can occur when we least careful or prepared. Injuries or accidents that can occur at home may include falls, burns, and even poisonings (i.e., carbon monoxide and chemicals). Children and older adults are at higher risk for some types of injuries. Keep your home safe by properly labeling and storing all chemicals (including medicines and personal-care products), securing loose rugs, removing hard and sharp surfaces from children’s play areas, and installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are ways to keep your living area safe. We can minimize accidents or injuries by being mindful and making conscious efforts to keep it safe.

Source: Department of Health. Seven Principles of Healthy Homes. https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/healthy_homes/seven_principles.htm. Accessed November 1, 2020.

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