Tracking Down the Hidden Health Hazards in Your House

Home is where the heart is they say, it also happens to be the place where you are often most vulnerable to being injured or killed, unless you address the hidden health hazards lurking in your house.

You only have to ask a qualified team like Central Iowa Radon to understand just one of the threats to your health and safety from radon gases, and there are lots of other dangers too that need to be tracked down and addressed, so that you can enjoy the best chance of health and safety in your home.

How your house can kill you

It is not something any of us really want to contemplate, but the hard truth is that there are many people who die in their homes every year as a result of exposure to dangers such as radon gas and other threats that exist.

Somewhere between 150-200 of us every year never wake up from going to bed as a result of falling victim to a silent killer in the form of deadly odorless gas.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the tragic consequence caused by a faulty fuel burning appliance, which can be your furnace, range or a water heater for example. You can get a warning system to tell you that the levels of carbon monoxide are dangerously high, in the form of a carbon monoxide detector, which will cost you very little, when you consider how precious what it can save is to you.

Another more surprising danger that you may not be aware of comes from the decking around your home, if it is old and decomposing.  The brackets and fasteners that are keeping everything in place need something to hold on to, so if water and weather have taken their toll on your wood and seriously weakened the structure, there is a real danger that it could collapse when you or someone else in your family use the decking.

These are two very different but very real dangers that every homeowner has to be aware of, as they are just two examples of how your house can kill you.

Foul smell

There is something deeply unpleasant about a buildup of sewer gases in your home, but ignoring it is not just going to mean that your nose is going to get regularly offended, it could also be storing up a serious health problem.

The methane that is contained within these sewerage gases is itself an odorless gas, and it can soon cause you to suffer some health problems like headaches and even heart palpitations. It is definitely not a good idea to ignore the warning smells, as any sort of buildup of methane, could create an explosion at some point, from something as simple as your pilot light firing up.

Check out any unpleasant smells in your home, not just for the sake of your nostrils but also the health and safety of everyone in the house.

Don’t overlook chimney safety

Regular maintenance of your property serves a dual purpose, as it helps to maintain its value and reduces the prospect of an expensive repair or breakdown charge, and it also means that you are likely to enjoy a safer environment to live in.

Checking and maintaining your chimney is a prime example of the sort of job you should schedule when the seasons change, just so you can spot any problems of repairs that might need doing.  If you don’t get your chimney professionally cleaned on a regular basis, you risk promoting a buildup of flammable creosote, which is a fire hazard and also can result in exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire hazards

A fireplace and chimney is an obvious fire hazard, but there are other fire risks that you should guard against.

Never leave any candles unattended in the house and always make sure that you not only have a few smoke alarms dotted around the house in strategic locations, but that they also work properly and the battery is not flat.

A simple routine of testing your smoke alarms and thinking about any potential safety hazards like candles in your home, can really help to prevent a potential tragedy occurring.

The sort of safety features in your home will often depend on what equipment you have in the house and the age of any children living there, but whatever you do, always think alive and aware, by tracking down any health and safety hazards.

Corey DePenning owns and operates Central Iowa Radon. Corey has more than 20 years of experience working with residential and commercial construction. Corey is a native Iowan and graduated from Iowa State University. He is an Iowa Department of Public Health Certified Radon Measurement Specialist. He is also a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), Des Moines Association of Home Builders (HBA), as well as the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors (DMAAR). Central Iowa Radon was formed in 2013 to provide Central Iowa and the Des Moines Area with quality radon mitigation and measurement services.