(NC) For some of us, winter might mean crisp walks through the newly fallen snow, skating, skiing, snowshoeing or tobogganing. It might also mean quieter times like curling up next to a roaring fire. But for most of us, we are all spending more time indoors.
Here are five tips to keep your home safe this winter:
1. Test your carbon monoxide alarm.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that causes illness and can lead to death. It has no smell, taste or colour so an alarm is the only way to detect it. Replace batteries and the alarm itself, and test the alarm regularly, as recommended by the manufacturer.
2. Hire a professional to service your home appliances.
Appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces, gas stoves, and water heaters need to be well maintained. Appliances that are not running in top condition may be a source of carbon monoxide.
3. Replace your furnace filter.
Replace the filter as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Look for damp spots.
If you find mould, remove it yourself if it covers a surface area of less than one square metre. On smooth surfaces you can use soap and warm water. There is no need to use bleach.
If mould cannot be removed from a surface easily, materials will need to be replaced. If the mould covers a bigger area, hire a professional to get rid of it.
5. Test for radon.
Radon is a dangerous radioactive gas. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. Exposure to radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
No matter the age, type of construction or location of your home, the only way to be sure of the radon level in your home is to test. There are two options for this: purchase a do-it-yourself (DIY) radon test kit or hire a radon measurement professional. If you choose to purchase a DIY kit, be sure to closely follow the instructions.
Find more information on keeping a healthy home at canada.ca/healthy-home.