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Why You Should Remove Lighting The Fireplace From Your Holiday Activities

With Christmas now less than a month away, there’s a particular song that automatically comes to mind: “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”. When thinking of holiday-based songs, you may also immediately recall “Winter Wonderland”, “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, “Frosty The Snowman” and “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”. Who would ever have thought that the last one was actually a health hazard?

If you have a fireplace, you may already be making use of it. A popular holiday tradition, lighting up the fireplace keeps the home warm and conjures up memories of past holiday celebrations. However, your fireplace is a danger. There’s no simpler way to put it. You may want to remove the old pastime of lighting it up from your holiday activities.

Fireplaces can cause house fires.

This is an obvious point, isn’t it? There’s no more common cause of house fires than lighting the fire yourself. This isn’t to be facetious. It’s important to remember that there is always the potential for a spark to fly out of your fireplace and into your living room. It’s vitally important to keep any and all flammable materials as far away from the fireplace as possible. As well, it’s wise to keep children good distances from this danger.

It’s possible for the fireplace to spark, says StreetDirectory.com, “which can cause a fire in the home itself. Keeping the glass doors or screen in place over the fireplace will prevent such sparks from escaping, making it safer to burn in your home. Keep in mind that you should be careful when adding wood or stirring the fire, and that you should be prepared to extinguish any sparks that shoot from the fireplace. “

Fireplaces can trigger respiratory issues.

If you’re an individual who has breathing issues, the last thing you’ll want to do, this holiday season, is add smoke to the air you breathe in your home. The smoke emitted from fireplaces is known to trigger asthma and COPD symptoms. On TheHealthy.com, Lisa Milbrand explains that both conditions can be worsened by the toxic effects of lighting the fireplace.

“People with asthma always need to be on the lookout for surprising triggers for an asthma attack,” she writes. “The particulates in the air from burning wood could exacerbate breathing difficulties associated with asthma…People with chronic respiratory conditions like COPD—these are the COPD symptoms you should never ignore—could be putting themselves at risk by regularly using a fireplace.”

Fireplaces emit carbon monoxide.

“You may not realize it, but fireplaces can be a big source of carbon monoxide danger,” warns StreetDirectory.com, “It is best to talk to a fire professional to find out how to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home, but one good way is to ensure that the flue is open and the fireplace is venting normally. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colorless gas that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is deadly.”

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is of major importance for all Canadians. Getting a CO detector should definitely be on your holiday wish list if you don’t have one already. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that detect indoor air quality problems including CO. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Passing Along Our Favourite Home-Cleaning Holiday Gifts From Amazon

There are just five weeks to go until Christmas Day gets here! If you’re like most Canadians, you’re either in full holiday shopping mode already, or you will be soon. Of course, you don’t have to celebrate Christmas to get into a holiday shopping mood. There are numerous gift-giving celebrations including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa taking place next month as well. The bottom line is that a shopping frenzy is taking place inside each mall throughout Canada, as we speak.

As you’re likely aware, online shopping is incredibly popular too. Amazon, for example, has become known as the go-to destination for most online holiday shoppers. We have to admit – we did a bit of Amazon browsing ourselves, this week, and just couldn’t help but want to share some of our favourite home-cleaning holiday gifts!

The wet boot tray.

In last week’s blog, we stressed the need to remove your shoes and/or boots before entering your home. Needless to say, failure to do so, this winter, will track dirt, slush and other filth from outside into your home. However, where do you put your wet boots when you take them off? If they’re placed on your floor, you’ll certainly be left with a mess to clean. Instead, utilize a wet boot tray.

“You can’t stop your shoes from getting wet and dirty in the winter but you can stop them from ruining your floors thanks to this convenient tray,” explains Amanda Tarlton in her USAToday.com article highlighting many of Amazon’s best home-cleaning gifts, “It has a near-perfect rating on Amazon because it’s well-made, easy to clean, and has a 1.2-inch raised edge so water won’t spill onto your floors.”

The Drillbrush.

This product just looks so cool! As its name implies, it’s a drill with a brush at the end of it. Unlike a standard brush, this item offers you some serious power behind those brush strokes. If you’re looking to remove mould, dirt and grime from your bathroom tiles, your kitchen appliances and just about anything else that needs a good scrubbing, the Drillbrush will certainly come in handy.

“‘I love spending hours scrubbing away winter dirt and grime,’ said no one ever,” writes Tarlton, “That’s why the Drillbrush is one of the cleaning products on Amazon with a cult following that’s actually worth buying. Reviewers love how easy it is to use (you simply hook it onto the end of a drill and let the drill’s power do the work) and that it can be used on anything from grout to kitchen appliances.”

The mop slippers.

These slippers look equal parts comfy and cute. Available in white and brown bear designs, these adorable slippers double as mops! That’s right – the bottoms of these slippers have thick and soft mop bristles making every step you take in them an act of cleaning your floors!

“Slippers are a winter essential, so why not pick a pair that cleans your house while you wear them?” encourages Tarlton, “They may seem and look silly but reviewers swear that they really do work. The microfiber chenille mop on the bottom picks up dirt and absorbs moisture as you walk and, when they get dirty, all you have to do is toss them in the washing machine before cleaning again.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to offer you a home-cleaning holiday gift of our own. Contact us to learn all about our Air Quality Services. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Top Practices For Evicting Dirt And Dust From Your Home

Naturally, we talk a lot about indoor air quality on our blog. It’s a huge responsibility of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team to assist its clients through services that work to better their indoor air quality. Why? Well, think about it. What’s more important than the air we breathe? We clearly need to breathe to live. And since we’re breathing 24/7 (and many of those hours are spent at home), it’s imperative that we put efforts into purifying the air in our homes.

Believe it or not, there is a fairly simple solution to bettering our indoor air quality. And that’s to eliminate the dust and dirt from our homes. And as simple as this solution may be, it’s not always the easiest task to pull off. After all, dust and dirt is all around us all the time. So how do we serve it with an eviction notice?

Here are three top practices for evicting dirt and dust from your home:

1. Implement a No Shoe Policy.

Most of the dirt that appears in our homes was tracked in on our shoes. Therefore, one certified way to keep dirt at bay is to remove our shoes before we enter our homes. To be perfectly honest, we can’t understand why anyone would want to wear the same shoes they wear outside inside their living spaces. In winter, it’s especially obvious that different footwear should be worn in the house.

“There are always people who balk at the thought of a No Shoe Policy,” writes Katie Berry on HousewifeHowTos.com, “If they realized that up to 80 percent of the household dust enters on the bottom of peoples’ shoes, they’d probably rethink their reluctance. One solution: keep a basket of washable slipper socks near the door for guests’ use.”

2. Empty your bagless vacuum outside.

Vacuuming is a chief way of evicting dirt from your home. It’s probably the most obvious solution as well. However, if you have one of those bagless vacuums, your removal of the canister, after vacuuming, often undoes the work you’ve just done. Often, dust escapes the canister and re-enters the atmosphere. Naturally, this is no good for your respiratory system. Try emptying your vacuum canisters outdoors to avoid the detriment to your indoor air quality.

“Once you’ve sucked up the dirt that did make its way into your home, make sure you ditch it for good,” advises Lauren Piro on GoodHousekeeping.com, “The particles can travel back into the air if you empty the canister inside.”

3. Place a welcome mat at your front door.

Berry is also a big proponent for welcome mats. They give visitors to your home opportunities to wipe their feet before stepping inside. That way, even though they will be removing those shoes inside the home, those shoes will contain a lot less dirt. “Shake the mats outside or clean them with a hand-vac every couple of days and you’ll notice a definite reduction of dust,” Berry instructs.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would love to help you evict dirt and dust from your home! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Not Worsen Your Indoor Air Quality When Winter Hits

Yes, we’re well aware that the winter season doesn’t become official until the 21st of December. But, let’s be honest. We live and work in Alberta – a province known for snowfalls long before the winter season hits. With that said, it’s likely you’re already in “keep warm” mode, which is pretty much a pastime for all Canadians, at this time of year. However, when winter hits, it’s important we be mindful of the problems the season can create for our indoor air quality.

Naturally, we keep our homes sealed all winter long. Everyone loves the warm and cozy feeling that comes with staying indoors. But we have to keep in mind that when the doors and windows are shut, the air inside the home can’t escape. That can lead to some health issues. So what should we do so that we don’t worsen indoor air quality when winter hits?

Crack open the windows.

This may sound like a strange piece of advice, during the winter, but it’s one we’ve given before and one we’re sure to give again. Crack those windows open! Yes, we know that it’s cold outside, but you need to ventilate your home in order to avoid the health issues that can occur due to breathing stale and stagnant air. As HappyHiller.com points out, the secret to healthy indoor air quality is a delicate balance of insulation and ventilation.

“If your home is too tight, then air gets stuck in the home and gets more and more polluted, with very little introduction of fresh air from outside,” reads the website, “Modern homes and improved renovation practices have made homes more airtight, which is great for reducing energy bills, but not so great from improving air quality. When indoor air becomes trapped, it gets more and more contaminated every day.”

Step up your laundry game.

The more you stay inside, the more likely you will be to shed your hair and skin all over your home. This may sound odd, but it’s true. And when you shed those skin cells of yours, you invite dust mites to take residence in your domicile. Especially in your bedding, these dust mites like to eat skin cells and leave behind allergy-inducing waste. Therefore, it is best you launder your bedding more regularly than normal during the winter.

“Because more time is spent indoors during the winter, the concentration of dust mite food – shed human skin cells – increases, as do dust mite populations,” affirms AchooAllergy.com, “Dust mites are present wherever there is dust, including household surfaces, upholstered furniture, draperies, carpets, and especially bedding.”

Stay away from the spray.

To be specific, it’s wise to stop cleaning your home by spraying those VOC-heavy products all over the place. You know the ones we mean – air fresheners and disinfectants with strong scents. These products contain volatile organic compounds which are among the main contributors to unhealthy indoor air. To keep your home clean, smelling sweet and a healthy environment all at once, use natural cleansers instead.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d love to help you not worsen your indoor air quality when winter hits. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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