Keeping Your Home Safe In 2014

Keeping the family members of your home healthy this flu season is a bit difficult if you have small children in school. Nonetheless, having a healthy home starts with you at home, and a few rules for your family can keep them healthy not only this flu season , but throughout the year.  Follow the links below to learn a few of the small things you can do to keep a safe home.

72 Easy Upgrades for a Healthier Home

1. Keep pollen out. During hay fever season, shake or brush off outerwear, and keep a brush and wet wipes handy to clean pets’ fur and feet. Don’t hang laundry on outdoor clothes lines, at least for now.
2. Add mats on both sides of the door. Up to 80 percent of the dirt that gets tracked inside—along with countless allergens, bacteria, and lawn chemicals—can be caught with a double length of washable matting before it makes itself at home. Shown at left: Waterhog mats, which can be hosed down (from $40;

3. Air out dry cleaning. Take off plastic bags before you come inside so that any residual perchloroethylene, a common dry-cleaning solvent and suspected carcinogen, can evaporate. If your dry cleaning has a strong chemical odor when you pick it up, give it back and ask that it be properly dried. Or Google “organic dry cleaning” to find a perc-free service near you.

4. Establish a no-shoes-indoors policy. Keep a basket of slippers at the door for family and guests alike.

5. Install vent fans in crawl spaces. Keeping humidity levels in these areas below 50 percent prevents condensation and the spread of musty odors and mold and mildew, which can trigger allergies and asthma. Find fan models that work for crawl-space ventilation at

6. Create a pet checkpoint. Treat cats and dogs with a monthly tick-and-flea medication, and use a fine-tooth comb (from $4; to catch fleas before they come inside. Flea shampoos and collars contain pesticides, which can rub off on kids and furnishings.

Flooding Safety Tips: Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related according to the National Weather Service.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) urges people to learn the dangers of driving into flooded roadways because drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater. Roads weaken under floodwater and drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

• Twelve inches of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water will carry away most vehicles, including pick-up trucks and sport utility vehicles.
• Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.
• Because disaster can strike at any time, ADEM encourages everyone to have a disaster supply kit in their home and vehicle.

When there’s water on the road:  Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Saving your life is as simple as choosing an alternate route. If you are driving and your vehicle stalls in flood water, the best advice is to get out quickly and move to higher ground.

Flood: Know Your Terms
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:

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