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Safety in the home and workplace

Ensuring your home and working environments are free of dangers is the first and most important step to creating a life-enhancing and productive ecology for you, your family, your guests, your colleagues and your customers.

Tackle the worst first - no point in worrying about aesthetics if you are about to be poisoned by carbon monoxide!

Basic safety tips

  • Fire escape plans are not just for work! Make sure everyone knows the drill and rehearse with the family
  • Install smoke detectors, fire blankets and extinguishers (and learn how to use them)
  • Fit quality door and window locks and any other appropriate security devices - but check you can still get out in an emergency
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers to hand
  • Get a first aid kit and learn how to use it
  • Have your boiler or fire checked and serviced regularly. Keep chimneys well swept
  • Check electrical appliances for frayed wires, loose connections and correct fuses
  • Attend to accident hazards such as trailing wires, clutter on stairs and passageways, worn carpets, wet floors, etc.
  • Guard fires and ensure they can't set light to nearby materials

Reduce exposure to EMFs

  • Keep a good distance from TVs and computer monitors - the back of a monitor emits more radiation than the front, so make sure you are at least 1.5m away
  • Use DECT cordless and mobile phones less
  • Switch off and unplug electrical appliances when not in use
  • Move your clock radio at least 1m away from your bed
  • Switch off electric blankets before getting into bed
  • Avoid spending time next to electric cookers, washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers, extractor fans, etc, whilst they are switched on
  • Replace fluorescent lighting (including energy saving bulbs) with ordinary incandescent bulbs
  • Keep transformers well away from anywhere you spend much time
  • Move beds at least 1m away from storage radiators
  • If you are in an area of high risk of radon exposure get the NRPB to check your house or workplace

Protect against pollutants

  • Many house plants are proven (by NASA) to clean the air of common pollutants and can even reduce electrical fields. The most effective include: peace lily, dracaena, aglaonema, syngonium, ivy and scindapsus
  • Open windows regularly and ensure a through flow of air
  • Air conditioning can create a wide range of problems, from poor air quality to positive ionisation - so ensure that your system is properly installed and regularly checked
  • Use a good quality face mask when drilling, cutting or sanding MDF or other composite wood products. Ensure plenty of ventilation as these products give off formaldehyde and other VOCs. Preferably don't use them at all.
  • Computer monitors can "outgas" (give off toxic fumes) for some time from new. Leave them switched on in a well-ventilated, unoccupied room for a few days before use
  • Ensure good ventilation when decorating and consider using VOC-free paints
  • Avoid the use of garden chemicals