House and Yard
Summer is a time for house cleaning, organizing garage sales, and spending time in the yard. Learn how to do it safely!
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are hazardous to our health.
- Teach children that the symbols mean: DANGER! DO NOT TOUCH.
- Keep all chemical products out of sight and out of reach of children.
- Child-resistant does not mean child-proof. Close the cap on the container all the way even if you set it down for just a moment.
- Make sure that child-resistant containers are working.
- Store household chemicals in their original containers. Make sure the symbols and labels on containers are not removed or covered up.
- Read labels before use. If there is anything in the label instructions that you don't understand, ask for help.
- Never mix chemicals together. Some mixtures can produce harmful gases.
- Ensure proper ventilation when using (such as open windows for air circulation).
- Keep emergency numbers by the phone.
Do you know what these symbols mean?
- The container can explode if heated or punctured. Flying pieces of metal or plastic from the container can cause serious injury, especially to eyes.
- The product can burn your skin or eyes. If swallowed, it will damage your throat and stomach.
- The product or its fumes will catch fire easily if it is near heat, flames or sparks. Rags used with this product may begin to burn on their own.
- If you swallow, lick, or in some cases, breathe in the chemical, you could become very sick or die.
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Reduced natural ventilation, too much humidity, and the use of chemicals can lead to unhealthy air in your home or workplace. This can cause a number of health problems such as respiratory symptoms and allergies. Here are several steps you can take to improve indoor air quality.
- Let more air into your home to prevent moisture from building up on walls and windows. Where there is a lot of water vapor, such as the bathroom, ventilation such as a fan may be needed to eliminate excess humidity.
- It is advisable to keep the relative humidity in your home below 50% in summer and 30% in winter.
- Repair leaky roofs, walls and basements.
- Clean mouldy surfaces with a strong detergent.
- Keep your home clean and dust-free.
- Regularly clean and disinfect humidifiers and air conditioners.
If you have severe humidity or contamination problems, ask your provincial or regional health department for advice. Check the sources listed below for more information on the problem. Consult your doctor if you think anyone in your family suffers from health problems caused by poor air quality.
Gardening is a popular activity in Canada. Some equipment and chemicals used for gardening can be dangerous. Gardening tools can cause injuries to both children and adults. The following safety tips can help prevent injuries.
- Check lawn and work areas for hazards such as rocks, nails, and broken glass.
- Keep children at a safe distance.
- Use protective gear such as gloves, ear protection, and eye protection.
- Wear proper shoes or boots when operating hand tools and power equipment.
- There are many ways to control garden pests without using pesticides. Consider them before resorting to pesticide use.
- If you decide to use a pesticide, make sure that you use a product registered in Canada. Look for the Pest Control Products Act (PCP Act) number on the label. Use the product according to label directions.
- Learn to operate equipment properly and make sure it is in good working condition.
- Put tools away immediately after use and store out of children's reach.
- Be careful with sharp or pointed tools such as rakes, lawn mowers, and lawn edgers.
- Keep hands and feet away from cutting blades, moving parts, and hot surfaces.
- Do not use electrical tools in wet conditions.
- Turn motorized tools off and disconnect power source before cleaning or servicing them.
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Every year thousands of garage sales are held across Canada. Did you know that everyone holding a garage sale is legally responsible for ensuring that products they sell, new or used, are safe and meet safety standards? It is important to sell only items that are in good condition. Damaged items should be thrown away. Think safety!
You can help to ensure that the second-hand products you sell are safe and legal by taking the following steps:
- Make sure the item meets current regulations, is not damaged, has not been subject to a recall, is not beyond the manufacturer's recommended age for use, and is legal for sale in Canada.
- Check that all of the parts are present, that the instructions for use and care are available, and that it is not beyond the life span set by the manufacturer.
- Make sure warning labels are still attached and that none of the parts pose a hazard.
- Check to be sure the product has not been subject to a recall by checking the Health Canada Web site or the manufacturer's Web site.
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