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We believe that every family deserves to live in a safe and healthy home. Home safety is one of our priorities. It directly affects the health of all individuals.  

Consider how weatherization makes a difference in your home. Without it, long-term exposure to moisture that produces mold growth in damp areas can be a health risk; broken furnaces or utility shut-offs because of unpaid bills could put you at risk of pneumonia, heart attacks, and stress-related illnesses. 

When households are unable to keep up with their utility bills and their utilities are shut off, they may seek other ways to stay warm, even if it means risking their health and safety. Alternative heat sources – like lighting fires inside the home without proper ventilation or using a gas stove to heat a home – can be dangerous, produce carbon monoxide, and/or present a fire hazard.

Health & Safety Home Checklist

The health and safety of a home rely on yearly maintenance and safety checks like furnace filter changes, regulating water heater temperatures, and replacing batteries in a smoke detector. Some safety and maintenance checks require a professional to identify unsafe conditions and required upgrades. As much as possible, it is beneficial to have a professional evaluate your home energy systems.

The Housing-Related Health and Safety Hazard Assessment, released by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office, focuses on the health and safety of a home. Based on that assessment, here is a checklist to measure the health and safety of your home:

For moisture concerns, check if these are present:
  • Wet or discolored walls and ceiling. 
  • Missing or damaged downspouts and gutters.
  • Ponding near foundations, especially during heavy rainfall.
  •  Exterior holes and cracks;
  • Drain and plumbing leaks under sinks.
  • Window condensation in cold weather.
  • Water damage and entry in basements. 
For ventilation concerns, check if these are present:
  • Misaligned, corroded or disconnected chimney and water heater flues.
  • No exhaust systems in the bathroom, dryer, kitchen, and bathrooms.
  • Unvented combustion appliances.
  • Lack of carbon monoxide and smoke alarms near bedrooms.
For insulation and temperature concerns, check if these are present:
  • Lack of weather-stripping and caulking around windows and doors.
  • Inadequate insulation.
  • Improper heating or cooling systems

Energy Resource Center can evaluate portions of your home for health and safety and make recommendations on the work that could be done. Contact our office today to talk about this process and if you qualify for free services and equipment.

 

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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