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Air Quality Newsletter Air Quality Newsletter
Adopt A Neighbor Program Expansion for Neighbors Needing Assistance During Self-Quarantine
We are in a unique and uncertain time, but we are in it together. The coronavirus situation puts some of our friends, families and neighbors at greater risk. The City is seeking healthy volunteers to assist with services to our vulnerable populations. We are launching an expansion of the Adopt-A-Neighbor program to pair volunteers with neighbors in need during the current pandemic.
Healthy Homes Responding to COVID-19
The Healthy Homes objective is to help community members identify pollutants or contaminants in the home that can affect health and safety.
Healthy Homes is a free, indoor air quality program for community members of the City of Fort Collins aimed at improving the air quality of their homes by reducing chemical and biological pollutants, and promoting safety. Our program is a unique collaboration of staff, volunteers and partner organizations all working together to support and improve the respiratory health of Fort Collins community members.
- One out of four homes in Fort Collins has a family member with respiratory ailments
- Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors
- Indoor air quality can be up 5 times worse than outdoor air quality
- The greatest environmental risk is where we have the greatest control - in our own homes
- Indoor Air Quality is one of the EPA's top 5 environmental health risks
- Create awareness to reduce asthma triggers
- Reduce toxic or harmful exposure in homes
- Promote and enhance healthy, safe, and environmentally sound household practices
- Increase the number of homes tested and mitigated for radon
- Increase effective indoor air quality practices through community-level education and outreach programs
- Increase participation in home energy efficiency audits
- A healthy home environment improves the quality of resident's lives, particularly children and individuals with respiratory problems
- A personalized approach is effective in motivating people to improve their home environment and change behaviors
- Residents, through their own actions, can make changes in their home to prevent illness, and make their homes the best they can be in face of extreme weather events and wildfires.
The Healthy Homes Program
Find out how you can perform your own guided indoor air quality assessment, or sign up to have us come out and do an assessment of the air quality issues in your home.
Find out about the most common indoor air quality issues that can trigger health problems in your home and what you can do about it.
Learning about Indoor Air Quality is a great way to keep yourself and your family healthy. Here you’ll find additional resources that can come in handy.
7 Key Principles of a Healthy Home
There are 7 key principles that you can follow to make sure your indoor air quality is healthy for you and your family. Below is a description for each of the principles and some of the actions you can take. Download the 7 Key Principles Brochure.
Clean up to reduce allergens and dust particles and keep pests away.
- Reduce clutter
- Damp dust weekly
- Vacuum twice a week: HEPA filter vacuums are best
- Wash sheets in hot water to kill dust mites and allergens
- Clean carpets professionally every year
- Wash curtains monthly
- Don’t allow pets on the furniture
- Remove your shoes before entering your home
- Place a commercial grade doormat at all high traffic entrances
Be aware of substances in your home that could make you sick.
- Carbon Monoxide
- Tobacco Smoke
- Air Fresheners
- Cleaning Products
- Household Hazardous Waste: Paints, Cleaning Chemicals, Pesticides, Gas, etc.
Too much water in the home causes mold, structural damage, and provides optimal conditions to attract pests
- Regularly clean areas with water: Kitchen and bathrooms
- Make sure tubs and sinks are not pooling
- Look for condensation on windows and wipe dry if wet
- Run exhaust fans while showering and cooking
- Dry clothing thoroughly before folding
- Seal cracks with caulk
- Clean gutters regularly to prevent water build up
- Discard items ruined by water
Look for mold in these places:
- Basement walls and floors
- Wet clothing
- Tubs, sinks, toilets, washing machine
- Drywall and insulation
Maintenance ensures the vital systems (ventilation, plumbing and waste management) in your home are in good shape and running efficiently.
Inside the Home:
- Remove garbage and materials for recycling from your home regularly
- Participate in energy and water efficiency programs
- Check for leaks - examine pipes under sinks and in your basement
- Check and clean the pipes and filters in all appliances
- Repair leaks immediately before mold has a chance to grow
- Check the flues, filters, and vents of your heating systems to ensure they are clean and connected properly
Outside the Home:
- Make sure your siding is painted, clean and undamaged to protect your home from moisture
- Replace worn and damaged roof shingles to prevent water from getting inside
- Clean and unblock your dryer vent twice a year
- Repair broken windows as soon as possible
- Look for peeling paint: it contributes to poor indoor air quality
- Check the caulking around windows and doors frames
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Check for signs of rodents, bats, and termites
Insects and rodents can trigger allergies and asthma and spread disease. Pests seek out food, water, and hiding places
- Keep your home free of clutter and as clean as possible
- Seal exterior gaps with mortar
- Install weatherstripping at the bottom of basement and garage doors
- Eliminate all sources of water and food around the house including, pet dishes and bird feeders
- Keep all food in airtight containers
- Look for the most common insects: Dust mites, cockroaches, fleas, and ticks
Ventilation expels dust and odors and keeps your home dry and mold free
- Open the windows whenever possible
- Make certain exhaust fans and ventilation systems are working properly and venting air to the outside
- Run vent fans when cooking or showering
- Provide extra ventilation when using glues or permanent markers
- Look for low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products when painting or installing new carpeting
Be aware of the most common dangers in your home
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries regularly
- Plan and discuss escape routes and meeting locations in the case of an emergency
- Keep a fire extinguisher available near the kitchen
- Keep your house uncluttered and well lit
- Secure railings and handrails
- Keep firearms in a locked cabinet with trigger safety locks on at all times
- Keep pesticides and household cleaners out of the reach of children and properly dispose of unused chemicals and paints