How to Protect Your Family from Potential Risks
After many Dallas parents kiss their children good night, they lock their doors and switch on their security systems to protect their families. However, dangerous culprits could already be in their homes waiting to strike. When was the last time you tested for natural gas, carbon monoxide, radon and mold in your home? Being aware of these dangers and how to combat them can keep you and your family safe and healthy.
- Natural Gas
Natural gas, carbon monoxide and radon are gases that can be lethal to humans and animals. Fortunately, commercial gas such as the natural gas that powers your furnace or stove has a strong odor added that makes it easier to detect.
If there is a strong smell of gas in your home, put out all open flames immediately. Electrical currents can trigger explosions, so avoid turning appliances, lights and any other electrical switches on or off. If you know where the gas leak is coming from and can shut off the supply, do so immediately.
Get out of the house as quickly as possible. Call 911 and your gas utility company to report the leak. If you live in an apartment building or near other homes, alert your neighbors so they can evacuate as well.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that is found in fumes produced by the fuel that is burned in vehicles, stoves, grills, fireplaces, furnaces and other objects. If carbon monoxide builds up indoors it can poison those who breathe it.
Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion and drowsiness. If you notice these symptoms and suspect that carbon monoxide is the cause, get out of the house immediately and dial 911.
The best way to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a CO detector in your home. Make sure to place the detector where it will wake you up if it sounds an alarm, and replace the batteries twice a year. Some precautions you can take to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning are:
• Hire a professional to clean and inspect your chimney, furnace and gas water heater yearly
• Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home
• Never use gas fireplaces or space heaters as main heating sources
• Never use grills or gas generators in enclosed spaces
• Never keep a car running inside a garage
• Turn off ovens and heating appliances before going to bed or leaving home
Like carbon monoxide, radon is colorless, tasteless and difficult to detect. It is a radioactive gas that is released from the decay of uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil which seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. In some geographical areas, it dissolves into ground water and can be released into the air when water is used. In areas without sufficient ventilation, radon can accumulate to levels that considerably increase the risk of lung cancer.
There are both short- and long-term radon detectors available. Because radon levels can vary over time, a long-term radon detector is a better indicator of the average radon level in your home.
- Allergens & Mold
Dust mites, pet dander and mold spores can trigger allergies and asthma. If you use central air conditioning or a forced-heat furnace, have ducts cleaned regularly. Use anti-allergen filters and replace them often. If you notice water leaking or pooling anywhere in your house, have it checked out immediately. Moisture leads to mold, which can make you and your family very ill.
Whether you are buying or selling a home in the Dallas - Fort Worth real estate, our experienced REALTORS® can help you find a safe and beautiful home that will meet your family’s needs. Contact us when your start your Dallas home search.