- Watch what you cook. Stay in the kitchen while grilling, frying or broiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove or oven. If you’re boiling, baking or roasting food be sure to check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that the stove is in use.
- Keep things which can burn away from the stove’s burners – this includes pot holders, oven mitts, food packaging, etc.
- To prevent accidental burns wear clothing with short or close fitting sleeves. Keep pot handles rotated in towards the center of the stove and have a “kid-free” zone of three feet around the hot stove. If you do burn yourself remember to cool it with running water for 10-15 minutes.
- If there is a fire in your oven, don’t panic. Turn off the oven, keep the door shut and call 911. If there is a fire in the pan on top of the stove, use a tight fitting lid to smother the fire. Do not put water on the fire, smother it with a dish towel or attempt to move the burning pan outside.
- If you use a turkey fryer make sure it is only used outside on a flat, stable surface away from anything combustible (i.e. garage, deck, etc) and never leave it unattended. Do not overfill the fryer with oil and make sure the turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the fryer. To be extra safe keep an ABC or BC-rated fire extinguisher nearby.
Fire Extinguisher Safety tips
- Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
- To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
- For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
- Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
- Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
- Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
Portable Fire Extinguishers and Children
NFPA believes that children should not be trained how to operate portable fire extinguishers. Teaching children to use portable fire extinguishers runs counter to NFPA messaging to get out and stay out if there is a fire. Furthermore, children may not have the maturity to operate a portable fire extinguisher properly or decide whether or not a fire is small enough to be put out by the extinguisher. They may not have the physical ability to handle the extinguisher or dexterity to perform the complex actions required to put out a fire. In the process of extinguishing flames, children may not know how to respond if the fire spreads. NFPA continues to believe that only adults who know how to operate portable fire extinguishers should use them.
Information from nfpa.org
Why Do I Need a Home Fire Drill?
Close to 50% of people who die in home fires were trying to escape when they died.
A developed exit plan, and practice of a home fire drill, might have saved their lives.
Here is what it is like to be in a fire.
- “You can’t see anything in front of you.”
- “You can t breathe.”
- “It’s hot. It s dark. It s hostile.”
- “You don t know what to expect.”
- “You have to go by feel.”
- “A 15-foot hallway seems 50 miles long.”
- “You can easily become unraveled.”
- “It’s not a place where humans are ever expected to go.”
Make an Escape Plan
It is important to have a plan when there are children in your home. Children sometimes need help getting out of the house. They may not know how to escape or what to do unless an adult shows them.
Have a plan for young children who cannot get outside by themselves. You will need to wake babies and very young children and help them get out. In your plan, talk about who will help each child get out safely.
It is important to learn two ways out of every room in your home, in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use.
Remember, if there is smoke, you need to get low and go to your exits. So practice getting low and moving to your exits.
Choose a safe meeting place a safe distance from your home. Children should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around. Help them practice going to the outside meeting place. Teach them to never go back inside a building that is on fire.
Have a home fire drill at least twice a year. So everyone can practice what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.
Children and Fire Safety
Children can become scared and confused during emergencies, so teach them to never hide from firefighters.
Teach children to NEVER go back inside a burning building. Once they are out, stay out!
Teach your child to get low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky.
Show a child how to use the back of his hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way out, if the door is hot.
If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show him/her where you keep it and practice how to use it.
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Everyone in your household should take part in planning your escape. Fires can start anywhere in the home and at any time, so run through the plan at different times of the day or night, and practice different ways out.
- Think about how you will escape from every room, starting with bedrooms.
- If possible, plan two escape routes from each room. Your second route may be to go out a window or stand at a window where firefighters can see you.
- Decide where you will meet outside. Explain to your kids that when the smoke alarm beeps, they need to get out of the house quickly and meet at that safety spot.
- Plan everyone s role. Who will make sure children get out? Plan for special needs. Do you have: Young children? Older adults? People with temporary or permanent disabilities? Do you ever have overnight guests?
- Share your plan with babysitters and frequent visitors.
- Keep your floors, hallways and stairs clear of clutter.
- Fire extinguishers require planning too.
- Practice your home fire drill. Have kids head to their bedrooms and wait for the drill to begin. For children under 6 years old, assign adults to help anyone who’ll need it. Put one adult in charge of sounding the smoke alarm and running the drill. Next, sound the smoke alarm, start the timer and have everyone book it to the safety spot. Once everyone gets to the safe meeting place stop the timer. If you all made it in under two minutes, you each get an imaginary gold medal. If not, give it another try. In a real fire, get to the safe meeting place, then call 911 and keep everyone close until firefighters arrive.
Help me Practice My Home Fire Drill
- At least twice a year, push the smoke alarm button to start your home fire drill.
- Get out fast.
- Practice escaping from bedrooms when people are asleep.
- Make sure everyone in your household can open all doors and windows. Security bars on windows should have emergency release devices so they can be opened easily from the inside.
- Go to your meeting place.
- In a real fire, get out and stay out.
- Call 9-1-1 from outside.
What You Need To Know About Smoke Alarms
- Know what types of smoke alarms are available for your needs.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your house, especially outside bedrooms.
- Test your smoke alarm once a month. Change standard batteries twice a year.
Did you know 50% of homeowners in the U.S. don’t have an emergency escape plan? In the event of a home safety emergency, every second counts. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you may have less than two minutes to escape after your smoke alarms sound. That’s why it’s important to be prepared by planning and practicing an escape route with the entire family for safe evacuation. By planning, practicing, and repeating your emergency escape plan, you can help ensure a safe escape.
Make an Emergency Escape Plan (Download a Plan Sheet Now)
Walk through your home with your family and identify multiple exits out of each room in the house. If windows or doors are blocked, clear them so they can be easily accessed and opened to exit through. It is recommended that you have 2 exit routes from every room in your house. For two-story houses, consider equipping bedrooms with escape ladders to provide additional, safe evacuation routes. When escaping from a business building, employees should follow the escape plan procedures put in place by that business.
Dedicate someone to assists pets, small children, infants, elderly, or those with disabilities out of the home.
Assign a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance away from your house like the mailbox, tree, or neighbor’s house. It is important that everyone in the household knows where to meet once they get out of the house.
Ensure your street address is clearly visible on your home or mailbox for emergency first responders.
If you have children, teach them how to call 9-1-1 once outside at your meeting spot and help them memorize your home address
Practice Your Emergency Escape Plan
Once you have your emergency escape plan, it’s time to practice the evacuation route. The NFPA recommends executing your emergency escape plan twice a year, as well as at night. It is a good idea to draw a map of your home and plot multiple exits out of every room, so everyone knows the evacuation plan. Knowing you have a safety plan in place in the event of an emergency will not only give you peace of mind but confidence that your family is prepared. To get started, download our home escape plan worksheet.
If the Smoke Alarms Sound:
Smoke alarms are just as important as your emergency escape route because they alert your family of potential danger. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on each level. Be sure to test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months, or for hassle-free protection, upgrade to 10-year sealed battery alarms to eliminate the need for battery replacements. Remember, you may have less than minutes to escape so plan, practice and repeat your escape route to help protect what matters most.
- Follow your family’s escape plan.
- Get low and crawl under the smoke.
- Close doors behind you as you leave to slow the fire from spreading.
- Once everyone is out, stay out! You should never return to a burning building. Please leave this to the firefighters and inform them if someone is missing.
- Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.
Other Preventative Safety Measures
Take these preventative safety measures into consideration to help reduce your risk of fire
- Make sure all kitchen appliances are in proper working order and are unplugged when not in use.
- While you are cooking, never leave the stovetop or oven unattended. A skillet or pot could easily overrun and catch fire.
- Ensure there is nothing surrounding the stove while it is in use, like dishtowels or food scraps, as they are potential fire hazards.
- Never leave lit candles or fireplaces unattended. It is important to be present near an open flame
- Regularly have all vents and furnaces checked to help ensure your home is operating as safely as possible.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on every level of your home. Read the directions to be sure you know how to use it and regularly check its expiration so, in the event of a small fire, you have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
*First Alert Consumer Target Identification and Segmentation Report, Insights in Marketing, June 2016
Fire Safety – Why Early Detection Matters
Did You Know?
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarms, how to use a fire extinguisher, and escape route planning.
* 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
* Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
* Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
* 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
* Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
* Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*
* Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of home fires
Are You Ready at Home?
Having functioning alarms installed throughout your home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. They work around the clock to provide your family with an early alert in the event of an emergency, providing you time to safely escape. Smoke and CO alarms should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each bedroom. Fire extinguishers should also be placed on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage.
Why Early Detection Matters
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are your family’s first line of defense when it comes to a fire or CO emergency. Having properly working alarms can help provide you and your family with an early alert, giving you time to safely escape.
Early Detection for Your Home
Smoke alarms provide early warning in the event of an emergency.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon monoxide alarms are the only way to detect CO in your home and provide early warning to this deadly gas.
Placement and Maintenance
Just having smoke and CO alarms is not enough. You also need to ensure they are properly placed throughout your home and functioning correctly. Smoke and CO alarms should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each sleeping area. Be sure to test your alarms regularly and replace the batteries every six months, unless you 10-year sealed battery alarms. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and CO alarms should be replaced every 5 to 7 years.
Smoke and CO alarms work around the clock, day and night, to alert you and your family to a fire or CO emergency. Help protect what matters most by installing early detection in your home.
Having alarms is the first step to protecting your family, the next is to create an emergency escape plan to help your family safely escape. Download an escape planning worksheet to help teach your children!
Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. The first day of fall and again on the first day of spring is a great time to do your smoke detector check. These are dates you will remember. Some people use the time change dates in spring and fall. It doesn’t matter what reminders you choose, just check your smoke detectors twice a year.
If you do not have smoke detectors get them today. the information here and the information on the NFPA site will help you get started installing the smoke detectors correctly.
Here’s what you need to know!
- A closed-door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside, and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
- More about the installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
- In 2012-2016, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no working smoke alarms (17%).
- No smoke alarms were present in two out of every five (40%) home fire deaths.
- The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (12.3 deaths vs. 5.7 deaths per 1,000 fires).
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five (43%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures.
Safety messages about smoke alarms
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
- A closed-door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
Children and smoke alarms
NFPA is aware of research indicating that sleeping children don’t always awake when a smoke alarm activates. While this research is worrisome, we shouldn’t allow them to obscure the fact that smoke alarms are highly effective at reducing fire deaths and injuries.
NFPA reaffirms the value of the smoke alarms already available to protect people from home fire deaths and voice its concern about the number of U.S. households without these early warning devices. While 96% of American homes have at least one smoke alarm, no smoke alarms were present or none operated in two out of five (41%) of the reported home fires between 2003-2006. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
NFPA emphasizes the need to continue planning and practicing home fire escape plans and to make sure everyone in a home can be awakened by the sound of the smoke alarm. NFPA suggests practicing the escape plan during which the smoke alarm is activated so all family members know its sound.
Every home fire escape plan is different, and every family should know who will – and who won’t – awaken at the sound of the smoke alarm. If someone doesn’t wake up when the alarm sounds during a drill, the family should design an escape plan that assigns a grown-up who is easily awakened by the alarm to wake the sleepers, perhaps by yelling “FIRE,” pounding on the wall or door, or blowing a whistle.
Plan your escape
Your ability to get out of your house during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning. Download a fire escape planning sheet.
- Get everyone in your household together and make a 788. Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room.
- Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily. Windows with security bars or grills should have an emergency release device.
- Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped. A good meeting place is something permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox a safe distance in front of the home.
- If there are infants, older adults, family members with mobility limitations or children who do not wake to the sound of the smoke alarm, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the event of an emergency.
- If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside, and stay outside. Respond quickly – get up and go, remember to know two ways out of every room, get yourself outside quickly, and go to your outside meeting place with your family.
- Learn more about home escape planning.
Information from the NFPA.
VETERANS ASSISTANCE & HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE ORGANIZATIONS
The holidays are fast approaching. Holidays can be a hard time of year for many veterans and their families. There is help out there, not only during the holiday season but year-round. As a 100% veteran-owned company SkyTech is committed to helping veterans find the resources that they need. There are many organizations that will assist active duty members and veterans in crisis or with day to day needs. Whether it is temporary holiday help or longer-term assistance, veterans can connect with any of these organizations by phone or online and they will assist you with your needs, or connect you with an organization that is best suited to help you. CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE ASSISTANCE.
Department of Veterans Affairs – VA Medical Centers
Raymond G. Murphy Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Albuquerque, NM 87108-5153
p: 505-265-1711 x
Santa Fe VA Clinic
Sante Fe, NM 87505-3197
p: 505-986-8645 x
Espanola VA Clinic
Espanola, NM 87532-2862
p: 505-367-4213 x
Las Vegas VA Clinic
Las Vegas, NM 87701-4252
p: 505-425-1910 x
Northwest Metro VA Clinic
Rio Rancho, NM 87124-1726
p: 505-896-7200 x
Taos VA Clinic
Taos, NM 87571-5801
p: 575-751-0328 x
This is a free resource for veterans, their surviving spouses and their families who are looking for clear, concise information about the VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) pension benefit and how to apply for it.
For veterans and surviving spouses who meet VA eligibility requirements, A&A can help pay for the cost of daily senior care, whether it’s provided at home, in assisted living or in a nursing home.
AMERICAN LEGION POST 1 – The American Legion has a number of programs to stand by and support the veterans and their families during their service to the nation and when they return home.
1601 Berry Ave Santa Fe, 87505
VEHICLES FOR VETERANS NEW MEXICO – Helping to Support Disabled Veterans
VETERANS CRISIS LINE
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press
DAV NEW MEXICO – Veterans transportation to medical appointments at the various VA hospitals and clinics around New Mexico.
ELKS LODGE #460 – Elks pledge “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” The Elks National Veterans Service Commission takes that pledge one step further, and promises service to our nation’s veterans and military members, with a special focus on service to those in need.
1615 Old Pecos Trl
Santa Fe, NM 87505-4736
ADDITIONAL ELK’S PROGRAMS SUPPORTING VETERANS (Click the program link for more information)
HONOR FLIGHT NORTHERN NEW MEXICO – Honor Flight of Northern New Mexico is a 501c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing Veterans with honor and closure by taking them free of charge to reflect upon their memorials in Washington, D.C. Priority is currently being given to World War II and Korean War Veterans as well as terminally ill veterans from other conflicts
IRAN AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS – We know coming home isn’t easy. If you’re a veteran or a veteran family member facing transition-related challenges or have questions, we can help.
OPERATION HOME FRONT – We build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. OPERATION HOME FRONT HAS CRITICAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IF YOU ARE IN NEED.
NATIONAL COALITION FOR HOMELESS VETERANS– IF YOU NEED HELP WITH HOMELESSNESS CONTACT THEM TODAY
Call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838)
RED CROSS – The Red Cross helps members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.
Salvation Army – The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however we can.
SEMPER FI FUND – Proven. Effective. Immediate. We provide financial assistance and lifetime support to combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured service members and their families.
SOLDIERS ANGELS – Soldiers’ Angels has many wonderful programs to support our military families, deployed service members, wounded service members and veterans. Our programs are broken into categories based on the population they serve. Soldiers’ Angels offers programs for wounded, deployed, families, and others.
VA VOLUNTEER SERVICES
VFW – The VFW offers a wide range of assistance programs aimed at helping veterans of every generation. Whether that means providing free, professional help filing or appealing a VA claim, offering scholarships for post-secondary education or providing emergency financial relief when times get tough, the VFW is there for America’s veterans.
Webmail Link: http://www.vfwwebmail.com/
SkyTech is quilified to help you with your indoor air quality concerns.
Indoor air quality is generally worse than most people believe, but there are things you can do about it.
Some Quick Facts:
• Indoor air quality can be worse than that of outdoor air.
• Problems can arise from moisture, insects, pets, appliances, radon, materials used in household products and furnishings, smoke, and other sources.
• Effects range from minor annoyances to major health risks.
• Remedies include ventilation, cleaning, moisture control, inspections, and following manufacturers’ directions when using appliances and products.
Many homes are built or remodeled more tightly, without regard to the factors that assure fresh and healthy indoor air circulation. Many homes today also contain furnishings, appliances and products that can affect indoor air quality.
Signs of indoor air quality problems include:
• unusual and noticeable odors;
• stale or stuffy air and a noticeable lack of air movement;
• dirty or faulty central heating or air-conditioning equipment;
• damaged flue pipes and chimneys;
• unvented combustion air sources for fossil-fuel appliances;
• excessive humidity;
• the presence of molds and mildew;
• adverse health reactions after remodeling, weatherizing, bringing in new furniture, using household and hobby products; and
• feeling noticeably healthier outside.
Common Sources of Air Quality Problems
Poor indoor air quality can arise from many sources. At least some of the following contaminants can be found in almost any home:
• moisture and biological pollutants, such as molds, mildew, dust mites, animal dander, and cockroaches;
• high humidity levels, inadequate ventilation, and poorly maintained humidifiers and air conditioners;
• combustion products, including carbon monoxide from unvented fossil-fuel space heaters, unvented gas stoves and ovens, and back-drafting from furnaces and water heaters;
• formaldehyde from durable-press draperies and other textiles, particleboard products, such as cabinets and furniture framing, and adhesives used in composite wood furniture and upholstery;
• radon, which is a radioactive gas from the soil and rock beneath and around the home’s foundation, groundwater wells, and some building materials;
• household products, such as paints, solvents, air fresheners, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs);
• asbestos, which is found in most homes more than 20 years old. Sources include deteriorating, damaged and disturbed pipe insulation, fire retardant, acoustical ceiling tiles, and floor tiles;
• lead from lead-based paint dust, which is created when removing paint by sanding, scraping or burning;
• particulates from dust and pollen, fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and unvented gas space heaters; and
• tobacco smoke, which produces particulates, combustion products and formaldehyde.
Tips for Homeowners
• Ask about formaldehyde content before buying furniture, cabinets and draperies.
• Promptly clean and dry water-damaged carpet, or remove it altogether.
• Vacuum regularly, especially if you have pets, and consider using area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. Rugs are easier to remove and clean, and the floor underneath can also be easily cleaned.
• Eliminate unwanted moisture intrusion by checking for sources (such as holes and cracks in the basement and other areas, and leaks from appliances), and by using a dehumidifier.
• Open windows and use fans to maintain fresh air with natural and mechanical air circulation.
• Always open the flue damper before using the fireplace. This will also prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning.
• If your air conditioner has a water tray, empty and clean it often during the cooling season.
• If you smoke, smoke outdoors and away from any windows and doors.
• Use the range vent above your stove whenever you cook.
• Use the bathroom vent whenever you use the bathroom.
• Don’t leave vehicles or lawn care equipment running in your garage. Make sure the door leading from the home to the garage has a door sweep to help keep out vapors.
SKytech is IAC2 Certified. If you are concerned abuot Indoor Air Quality give us a call. We can recommend more ways to help you maintain healthy indoor air quality for you and your family.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. Radon can have a big impact on indoor air quality. Radon gas in homes is a health risk. Santa Fe County, like Bernalillo and many others, shows up on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s radon maps as a Zone 1 county. That means homes can have a predicted indoor radon screening level above 4 picocuries per liter, the EPA’s recommended safe limit.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas resulting from the radioactive decay of uranium, which exists in most soils. Radon enters homes and buildings from the soil under the slab, from the crawlspace, basement, etc. Radon can also be found in some water supplies entering the home or building. Because radon is radioactive, it’s breakdown to other elements releases alpha, beta, and gamma radiations which can be physically damaging. When radon, and especially these decay elements, are inhaled, the lungs can be seriously damaged by this radiation. Studies have determined that as a result of this damage, radon is the overall second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is also believed to be the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated radon levels. In New Mexico, the north central part of the state including Bernalillo and Santa Fe Counties are considered high risk areas. Up to 30% of homes tested in Albuquerque and 40% in Santa Fe have shown radon levels which exceed the EPA recommended norms.
All houses can have radon; even those in areas of low radon potential can have elevated radon levels. The probability of finding radon in your home is less in low radon potential areas; however, radon levels can differ dramatically from one home to the next. The only way to know if you have radon is to test your home.
Individuals are exposed to elevated radon primarily in indoor environments, homes, offices, schools, etc. Any home or building, old or new, can have a radon problem. The only way to determine if a home or building has elevated indoor radon is to test.
How does radon enter your house? Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around and under your home. Because the pressure is lower inside, radon is sucked into your house through cracks or holes in the slab or foundation. If you have elevated radon levels you can fix your home. If you are building a house in an area of moderate or high radon potential we recommend using radon resistant building techniques.
The radon in your water supply poses an inhalation risk and a small ingestion risk. Most of your risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when water is used for showering and other household purposes. Research has shown that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in air is much larger than your risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon on it.
Radon in your home’s water is not usually a problem when its source is surface water. A radon in water problem is more likely when its source is ground water, e.g., a private well or a public water supply system that uses ground water. Some public water systems treat their water to reduce radon levels before it is delivered to your home. If you are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water and your water comes from a public water supply, contact your water supplier.
SkyTech of New Mexixo is is IAC2 certified. We are experienced and qualified to administer radon testing, indoor air quality testing and environmental testing. Contact us today if you have questions or to schedule a consultation or testing.
Home Buyers and Sellers can find a comprehensive resource guide put out by the EPA here.
New Mexico Radon Zone Map by county courtesy of EPA
The EPA recommends action be taken to reduce radon levels in homes with
concentrations higher than 4 pCi/L.
(pCi/L = Pico curies per liter)
Contact us today to schedule your radon or other indoor air quality evaluation.
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SkyTech of New Mexico Reminds You To Practice Fireplace Safety
2019 has given New Mexicans a lot of fireplace weather so far in 2019. More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.
Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently. Contact a professional to assist you with maintenance of your fireplaces, chimneys wood stoves, and other fuel-fired appliances.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!
- Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean
- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.
- Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces. Leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
- Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.
- Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.
- Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.
Safely Burn Fuels
- Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup.
- Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.
- Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.
- When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container outside your home.
Protect the Outside of Your Home
- Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.
- Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.
- Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
- Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
Protect the Inside of Your Home
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.
- Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.
- Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.
Be sure to follow these clear steps to fire safety. For more information on maintaining your smoke alarms read this SkyTech article on Smoke Alarm Safety.
Courtesy of usfa.dhs.gov