Suggestions for a Safe and Healthy 2017
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell shared the following suggestions for Pennsylvania residents for a safe and healthy 2017.
“The Department of Environmental Protection will be working hard to protect the air, land, and waters of the Commonwealth, but there are several things that residents can do to protect themselves and their families,” said McDonnell. “Many of these are relatively simple actions, and can alert residents to potentially dangerous situations in their own homes.”
The suggestions include:
• Test your home for radon: Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. Due to Pennsylvania’s geology, many homes can be exposed to this naturally occurring gas through the basement. Home radon test kits are an inexpensive way to gauge residents’ risk and possible need for mitigation. Kits are available in most home improvement and hardware stores. Find helpful information on the DEP Radon Division website.
• Look into buying mine subsidence insurance: Over 1 million homes in Pennsylvania sit on top of abandoned mines. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage caused by mine subsidence or mine water breakouts. Find out if your home is in a mining area, and learn more about mine subsidence insurance.
• Winterize your home: A few simple steps can lower your energy bills and keep your home warm. Have your furnace checked by a heating professional, seal cracks around windows, doors, and chimneys, and don’t heat unused spaces, such as guest bedrooms (except to prevent pipes from freezing). See more winter tips.
• Test your drinking water for lead: Lead in drinking water is most commonly caused by lead pipes, lead service lines, and copper pipes with lead solder. Contact your water company to see about testing your home drinking water for lead. Residents with private wells should get a test kit from a hardware or home improvement store. DEP provides a lot of helpful information on lead.
• Watch the PA Falcon Cam: Maybe not a health or safety issue, but you should definitely check out the PA Falcon Cam – especially around Valentine’s Day when the nesting season begins!