Protect your family from basic hazards in the home

Here are some of the basic things you can do to reduce your family's exposure to hazards in your home.

Ventilate your home

  • Let fresh air in. Make sure you have enough fresh air coming into your home. The consumer publications on ventilation from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are a good source of advice.
  • Use a fan. Exhaust fans that vent to the outside should be installed in bathrooms and above stoves to remove moisture and pollutants produced indoors. Make sure to turn them on when showering and cooking, especially if you are frying or boiling water.
  • Open windows. Open windows when using products that may release chemicals into the air, such as when you are painting, varnishing or installing new carpets.
  • Go low. Choose low-emission paints, varnishes, glues, wood furniture, and building products. Look for an independent certification label to help you select low-emission products (like the EcoLogo program that sets standards for sustainable products).

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Wash your hands often

  • Wash often. Washing your hands often helps to prevent infection and reduce exposure to harmful substances. This is especially important before every meal.
  • Clean thoroughly. To clean your hands thoroughly, scrub with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use sanitizer. When it's not possible to wash with soap and water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

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Keep your floors clean

  • Take your shoes off. The soil outside your home can contain substances you don't want inside. Taking off your shoes at the door is one way to help keep harmful substances out.
  • Vacuum often. Vacuuming up dust and dirt is a good way to reduce your family's exposure to health hazards like lead, mould, and dust mites.
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