What you don’t know can harm you

Quite simply, a “healthy home” supports and protects the health and safety of its occupants. Scientists now understand how our houses can harm us. A home should have no indoor pollutants, no dangerous chemicals, no radon hazards, and no physical safety or fire risks. Unfortunately, many American homes have moisture and ventilation problems; asthma and allergy triggers; chemical and toxic exposures; and fire, electrical, and tripping hazards. Sometimes, poor construction is at fault. More often, inadequate or deferred maintenance leads to hazards. Also, some homes pose challenges to occupants’ mobility, safety and independence as they age.

The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) recommends that all housing follow the “Seven Principles of Healthy Homes” as shown below.

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According to a recent American Housing Survey, the following issues were common to homes in the United States:

  • 4% had missing roof material.

  • 3% had leaking pipes.

  • 5% had open cracks and holes.

  • 6% had mice or other rodents.

  • 64% had no carbon monoxide alarms.

  • 19% had exterior physical problems.

  • 55% had fire extinguishers over two years old.

  • 9% had blown fuses or circuit breakers.

  • 8% had interior water leakage.

  • 10% had exterior water leakage.

  • 6% had no working smoke alarm.

The Checkup helped us make our house safer for our young children and healthier for me with my allergies.

-Laura W.