Keeping your home free from dangerous gases and noxious fumes requires a few precautions, the right safety devices and proper handling of household chemicals. Safety equipment like carbon monoxide and radon detectors, along with a few safety tips, can help you protect your family.
The invisible, odorless and deadly gas carbon monoxide (CO) is one of the most dangerous problems in homes. Installing a carbon monoxide detector alongside the smoke detectors in your home can help you protect your family from this poisonous gas.
When you shop for a new CO detector, choose one that meets the CSA 6.19 standard, has an audible alarm and is easy to test and reset.
Tips for preventing CO poisoning:
For more information, see Lowe's Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Buying Guide.
Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that comes from the soil. It is odorless, invisible and has no taste. Because it has been identified as a leading cause of cancer, it is important for you to test your home for its presence. Testing kits for radon are easy and inexpensive, and they come with complete instructions for where to send your sample for analysis.
If you do find radon in your home, there are several steps you can take to reduce its presence, from sealing cracks in your floors and walls to changing your home’s air flow. A subslab depressurization system, for instance, uses a system of pipes and fans to vent radon gas from beneath your home’s foundation, preventing it from ever entering your home. Older homes, which lack the effective sealing of newer homes, may vent radon naturally.
The smell of new paint is not only irritating, but it can actually be harmful. Paints, stains and other finishes commonly used in the home contain chemicals such as formaldehyde that can release irritants into your home’s air for months after use. You can improve the health of your next home-improvement project by choosing a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. These paints may reduce the amount of chemicals released into your home.
No matter what, avoid storing leftover paint inside your home. Even tightly-sealed paint containers can emit noxious fumes and other chemicals.
Cleaning supplies, pesticides and other chemicals that you store under your sink may seem harmless, but even when you are not using them, they still can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic gases into the air. These tips can help you minimize problems from household chemicals: