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What does fresh air have to do with staying healthy?

(NC) Many of us have heard that fresh air is good for us, but what does that mean and why is it important?

Basically, fresh air is when the particles of air around you are regularly replaced; it’s the movement of air. Outside, this happens naturally when air is moved by a breeze. Inside, you need good ventilation to improve air quality, by letting fresh air in and preventing stale air from being trapped inside with you.

Respiratory viruses may be transmitted from person to person through the air by small respiratory particles called aerosols. For example, when someone who has COVID-19 breathes, talks, sings, shouts, sneezes or coughs, they can release respiratory particles with the virus into the air and spread it to others. The smaller and more crowded the room, and the longer that others stay in the space, the higher the risk that COVID-19 may spread. Good ventilation helps to reduce the levels of potentially infectious particles in the air, by letting fresh air in, which is especially important when you're with people from outside your immediate household.

Some easy tips to help you improve the ventilation in your home:

  • Open windows and doors whenever possible. Even if it’s cold outside, a few minutes of fresh outdoor air can still help.
  • Run a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan continuously at low speed and open a window - even if it’s in a different room - to provide replacement air.
  • Consider using an air purifier with a high-efficiency particle filter (known as a HEPA filter), that’s sized for the room.
  • Regularly clean or replace filters in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

These steps are especially helpful before, during and after having guests in your home. Combine ventilation with other important public health measures, such as keeping up with vaccinations, hand washing, wearing masks in crowded indoor spaces and staying home when sick to help keep you and others protected against respiratory viruses, like COVID-19 and the flu.

Find more information at canada.ca/coronavirus.

 
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Reno tips to make your home look like an expensive custom build

(NC) It seems like everyone is making over their home these days, from small additions to complete teardowns. Although it sounds pricey, there are ways to transform your home while sticking to a budget. Here are some renovation tips to help you get started:

Never underestimate the power of good lighting. 
Nothing says luxurious quite like the perfect mood lighting of beautiful fixtures. From gallery-style recessed lighting to illuminate your artwork, to pot lights built into a rustic piece of reclaimed wood for hanging over your dining table, light fixtures are a fun and functional way to create ambiance and show off your personality.

Accessorize with high-quality investment pieces. 
Achieve an expensive look by carefully curating accessories and decorative items. For example, some plump throw pillows and a plush area rug can elevate your living room. You can also try hanging curtains from ceiling to floor, even if your windows are small — this will elongate your walls and draw the eye upward. Splurge on custom framing to showcase your favourite photographs on a gallery wall or floating shelf.

Learn how to achieve the handmade look for less. 
Anything custom-made says luxury because it’s uniquely tailored, fitting your style and space perfectly. But customizing anything from scratch can be prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, there are many ways to get the same results on a budget.

For premium and tailored cabinetry in your kitchen and bathrooms, try working with Kitch. The company specializes in making high-quality doors, drawer fronts and accessories for popular IKEA systems. The result is fabulous and unique cabinetry that’s personalized for your home, style and organization needs.

Find more design inspiration at mykitch.ca

 
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How to prepare your family for fire emergencies

(NC) Fire can spread rapidly through your home, and the National Fire Protection Association predicts you may only have as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once smoke alarms sound.

“We encourage everyone to evaluate their level of preparedness against potential dangers,” says Ashley Gocken of First Alert, a leading fire safety brand. “It’s imperative that people develop and practice a fire escape plan and install, maintain and regularly test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These are life-saving practices that can make a real difference.”

To ensure you and your family are prepared and protected, follow these steps:

Check your alarms.

Early detection is critical to preventing tragedies. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in every bedroom and on every level of your house, including the basement. Test them regularly and change the batteries every six months. To eliminate battery replacements for a decade, upgrade to 10-year battery alarms.

Map your home.

Involve everyone in your household when developing escape routes. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Make sure everyone in the home understands the plan.

Practice your plan.

Conduct fire drills at least twice a year during the day and night, making it as realistic as possible. Allow children to master the fire escape routes beforehand. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.

Have a meeting location outside.

Choose a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from your home. Once you’re out, stay out. Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Find more home fire safety tips at firstalert.ca.

 
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