RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Renovating? Tips to Prevent Lead Exposure

January 26, 2016 1:09 am

Common renovation activities, like sanding, cutting and demolition, can stir up hazardous lead dust, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This dust can be harmful to both adults and children.

The federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule requires that contractors, property managers and others working for compensation in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 be trained and use lead-safe work practices. They also must provide a copy of the brochure, “Renovate Right; Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools,” to owners and occupants before starting renovation work.

Homeowners completing their own renovations should take steps to protect themselves and their families from exposure to lead dust. These steps include:

- Containing the work area so that dust does not escape from the area; covering floors and furniture that cannot be moved with heavy duty plastic and tape; sealing off doors and heating and cooling system vents
- Keeping children, pregnant women, and pets out of the work area at all times
- Minimizing dust during the project by using techniques that generate less dust, such as wet sanding or scraping, or using sanders or grinders that have HEPA vacuum attachments, which capture the dust that is generated
- Cleaning up thoroughly by using a HEPA vacuum and wet wiping to clean up dust and debris on surfaces; mopping floors with plenty of rinse water before removing plastic containment from doors, windows, and vents

Keep in mind that certain emergency provisions of the RRP Rule may apply. Work covered under the rule’s provision for flood-damaged housing does not require advance notice or trained renovators to remove materials, including debris, from damaged homes. Also, emergency renovation activities are exempt from the rule’s warning sign, containment, waste-handling, training, and certification requirements—but only to the extent necessary to respond to the emergency. Cleaning, cleaning verification and record-keeping requirements still apply to emergency renovations. Other non-emergency renovation activities remain subject to the rule’s requirements, including the posting of signs and containment.

In addition, volunteers who do not receive compensation for work are not required to be trained and certified, under the rule. However, volunteers are strongly advised to educate themselves about lead-safe work practices to avoid causing health or safety hazards for themselves or others.

Source: EPA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Safety at Home: Heat Sources Heighten Fire Risk

January 25, 2016 1:06 am

December, January and February are prime time for home heating equipment fires—in fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than half of home heating equipment fires annually are reported in that timeframe. These fires can be caused by heating apparatus like stationary and portable space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.

Proper installation can help reduce the risk of fire. When installing wood-burning stoves or gas heaters, for instance, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional perform the installation.

Simple safety practices can also help mitigate risk. Use your oven to cook food only; never use it to heat your home. When leaving the room (or going to bed), turn portable heaters off. Place a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure they are kept a safe distance from the home. Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.

These months also come with an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to keep from building up in the home.
Installing and maintaining CO alarms can lessen the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company for assistance.

If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

Source: NFPA

Published with permission from RISMedia.