When buying a new home or apartment, or just renovating the space you’re already in, consider this question: How will your final renovations — and the work done to ensure those renovations — affect your family’s health?

What’s Behind My Walls?

Lead particles are easy to avoid noticing if your home has been renovated before. Perhaps the previous owners repainted, so you assume there is no lead paint in your house. You could be wrong.

Hire a professional whose specialty is discovering and removing lead. Ensuring your family’s safety is worth the cost.

What’s in My Air?

The air in the home can contain many harmful threats, including radon gas, carbon monoxide, and mold.

Radon is an unseen enemy. Find a cheap test kit online or at your closest home-improvement store. Radon levels are measured in either picocurie (pCi/l), Working Levels (WL) or becquerels (Bq). According to the EPA, if your radon level is 4 pCi/L, 0.016 WL, or 0.148 Bq or higher, you’ll need to hire a contractor to safely vent the gas out.

Dust is another one that pollutes the air faster than most pollutants in the house causing your allergies to flare and the constant need to change your air filter in your window unit or central air unit. You have to make sure you are choosing the right size for you when it comes to buying an air filter else it’s pointless.

Cars, water heaters, portable generators, dryers, and other heating appliances can all emit carbon monoxide in some form that is dangerous to your health. Periodically check that these appliances work properly to prevent emissions. Install carbon monoxide alarms throughout every floor of your home, so you can instantly remove your family if the home becomes polluted with this deadly gas.

Mold comes in various forms, and can often be undetected in the home for a time. Monitor your water damage, remove the damaged furniture and carpet immediately, keep a clean and reliable air filter, and use a dehumidifier if necessary in areas where moisture gets trapped.

What Furniture is Dangerous?

When purchasing and installing furniture, consider how your family could be at risk around it.

According to Safe Kids, television tip-overs are involved in a child’s death every three weeks. Children frequently push and pull on items they aren’t supposed to, and accidentally knock into furniture. Secure your television to the wall if that is at all an option; if it’s too heavy then place it on a low and stable stand.

Keep your electronic cords out of your child’s way, and the strings for those new blinds up high, to avoid them tripping or accidentally strangling themselves on it. Move cribs, chairs, and other furniture items that can be stood on easily, away from windows to keep your child from falling out of them. Secure upper-level windows with window guards or window stops.

Secure low cabinets and drawers with installed safety latches to keep children out of harmful cleaning substances and other household items. Always store your medicine, aftershave, nail-polish remover, and other liquid items infused with chemicals high away from children.

In the end, your family’s health begins with the way you set-up your home. Consider the questions outlined above while moving or renovating, and your family will be safer for it.

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