Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with 10 other organizations (spearheaded by the American Lung Association) to create a National Radon Action Plan. Their goal is to reduce the radon risk in over 5 million homes, and saving 3,200 lives annually by 2020. Their plan outlines the framework for this to be a possibility.
It is based on a goal to eliminate avoidable radon-induced lung cancer in the United States. The national radon workgroup is taking action by incorporating awareness about radon testing, radon mitigation & incorporating radon-resistant construction into systems that govern purchasing, financing, construction & renovating homes, as well as other buildings.
These actions build on early federal action that incentivizes radon action, such as testing for & mitigating high levels of radon & increasing visibility of the radon issue. This is truly a strategy for saving lives, as the radon workgroup intends for it to be. For a full list of the members of the National Radon Workgroup, click here.
Trinity takes a part in this National Radon Action Plan by having a commitment to bring radon awareness to our community. Our goal is to have every community member have a greater understanding of the potential dangers of radon. Since you cannot see, taste or smell radon, we think it is imperative to have your home tested. If your home has high levels of radon, you should have a radon mitigation system installed to help reduce your levels.
Since this is the direction that things are moving on a national level, it is worth it to take proactive steps to ensure the safety of your family by having a test scheduled. There may even be incentives for you to take advantage of if you have a radon mitigation installed. If you need help finding a licensed tester in the area, give our offices a call at 630-499-1492.
Whether you are experiencing a power outage due to a storm, an accident or a scheduled event, it is important to know what to do. There are some supplies you should always have in your home.
Before the power goes out:
Battery Operated Radio
Extra Batteries (for the flashlight & radio)
Fuel for generator
Keep these stored in a safe, accessible place. Be sure to think of what it will be like should you need to get them in the dark. In other words, storing them next to you bowling gear on a rickety shelf probably isn’t the brightest idea (pun intended).
During a power outage:
Do NOT call 9-1-1 unless there is an emergency. Stay calm. Check to see if the people around you have power. If they do, check your electric panel for a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. This may be all it takes to restore power to your home.
If everyone is out of power, notify your power supplier. In all likelihood, they are aware of the problem & may even have more information for you in regards to how long you should expect to be without power. If they don’t know there is an issue – HURRAY you’ve brought it to their attention & they can dispatch a repairman to resolve the issue.
In the event that there is a downed power line near your home, stay away from it. Keep animals & children away as well. It is possible that the wires could still be electrified. A shock from a power line can be lethal.
While waiting for your power to be restored, avoid opening your refrigerator. Food can stay cold during a power outage for up to 4 hours inside of a refrigerator.
Long-term power outages
Dress for the temperature – during summer months, dress in light clothing & drink lots of fluids. Take a cool shower or a dip in the pool (weather permitting).
During colder, winter months, dress in layers. Grab blankets & find a main room to stay in. Ideally, this room will be south facing to maximize on the daytime sunlight. Try to keep this room closed off from the rest of your home. If you have an alternate heat source, place it in this room (please operate it according to its instructions!).
If you are going to experience a long power outage (more than a few hours), you may want to turn your faucets on to drip. This will keep them from freezing. Unplug electronic devices. If it is cold enough, take all of the food out of your refrigerator and store it outside. Leave the doors to your fridge & freezer open.
If your home does not have a back up generator, now is a great time to consider installing one. Depending on your generator’s size, you can operate your home as if the power were still on. At the very least, you can still run essentials, like your furnace/AC & refrigerator, during a power outage.
Interested in having a whole home backup generator installed? Give us a call today – 630-499-1492.
Unsurprisingly, we often field questions about radon. Beyond the typical “what is radon” (psst – the answer is that it is a radioactive colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause cancer), we’ve put together a list of the 5 most common Illinois radon questions we hear.
1) Is Radon really a problem in Illinois?
Yes! 41% of homes tested in Illinois have high levels of radon. In Kendall, DeKalb, & surrounding counties, the statistics are higher. If your home has not been tested recently, now is a great time to have a licensed radon tester out to see what your levels are. Anything at or above 4.0 pCi/L is considered the “action point” by the EPA, and you should very seriously consider having a radon reduction system installed.
2) What is sealing?
When it comes to Illinois radon, the process of sealing can cover a range of things. It may include one or all of the following activities: caulking the foundation wall join, cracks & openings between the house & soil, covering & caulking the sump pit, and covering the crawlspace with membrane & adhering it to the walls & pillars inside. Your home’s unique design will determine what kind of sealing is necessary for your radon mitigation system.
3) Can the same person test and mitigate my home?
Unless you are the one testing & mitigating your own home, then Illinois radon policy (specificially 32 Illinois Administrative Code 422) says no. A licensed radon contractor is only allowed to maintain a license in EITHER testing OR mitigation, NOT both. At Trinity, we are happy to setup a radon test with one of the licensed radon testers we recommend on your behalf.
4) Should I get a post-test?
We guarantee our systems will reduce radon levels to be less than 4.0 pCi/L. Often times people ask if they should bother with a post-test. Our answer is yes! Since you can’t taste, smell, or see radon, the only way to know what your levels are is to test. If your post-test comes back higher than 4.0 pCi/L, it is our responsibility to come back out to make it right.
5) I’m building a home, should I test my soil?
Generally, no. Testing can be very expensive & studies have shown do not correlate well with radon measurements performed after the house is completed and functioning. A better alternative would be to ask your builder to include a “passive radon reduction system” in your home design. It has been shown that having an active system installed during construction can save you $400-$900 on activation (should your post move-in tests come back at or above the action level). If you need your passive system to be activated, it MUST be done by a licensed Illinois radon mitigation contractor.
Have more radon questions? We’re happy to help! Give our offices a call at 630-499-1492 to find out more.