- Baltimore County Government
- Baltimore County Council
- Baltimore County Department of Aging
- Baltimore County Office of Community Conservation
State of Maryland
- Maryland Home Improvement Commission
- Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing - Check your contractor's license
Home Energy Information & Assistance
BCPL Energy Awareness - List of links to bill payment assistance programs, energy saving tips, energy efficiency tax credits, choosing an energy supplier, dispute resolution, and other energy related consumer information.
Home Modification, Universal Design & Accessibility
Home Safety Checklist - (PDF) Rebuilding Together checklist of easy to implement home safety modifications.
The Center for Universal Design - "a national research, information, and technical assistance center that evaluates, develops, and promotes universal design in housing, public and commercial facilities, and related products." They offer quite a few publications including books, booklets, slide shows, videos, fact sheets and consumer product guides.
Universal Design Home Modification - Interactive house tours, simple design ideas, checklists, and other solutions for overcoming everyday obstacles and barriers to living comfortably in our homes -- from AARP.
- WingIts - Grab bars & specialty hollow wall fasteners for attaching them without blocking..
- Great Grips - No-slip grips that can be applied to round doorknobs and faucets.
- Easy Risers - Elevate chairs, sofas, beds and work surfaces to a more usable height.
ADA Information Center - provides "information, materials, and technical assistance to individuals and entities that are covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act", including a checklist for existing facilities, guidelines for making historic properties accessible, and other informational documents. While most of the regulations are intended primarily for use in public spaces, reading through some of the information will help us aging baby boomers plan for the future when designing a new house or making alterations to an existing home.
ADA Compliance Manuals - a list of books available from Amazon.com that deal with the Americans with Disabilities Act and code compliance on a state by state basis.
General Health and Safety Information
AARP Webplace - The American Association of Retired Persons is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan association dedicated to shaping and enriching the experience of aging", which is open to anyone age 50 or older. Among other information, their Web site includes a section on Universal Design and Home Modification. Whether you are building a new house or making repairs or improvements to an older home, you should consider incorporating some of the ideas and suggestions that are listed in this section. With a few simple alterations, you might be able to make your home a safer, more comfortable, and more convenient place to live.
Alliance for Healthy Homes - "...a national, nonprofit, public interest organization working to prevent and eliminate hazards in our homes that can harm the health of children, families, and other residents. These hazards include lead, mold, carbon monoxide, radon, pests, and pesticides."
U.S. Consumer Information Center - while you can still order brochures by mail from this government information source in Pueblo, Colorado, most of them are now available online. There are several health and safety related publications, including environmentally friendly lawn care, should you have your air ducts cleaned, safe drinking water, protecting your family from lead, an electrical safety check list and more.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission - the CPSC is an Independent Federal Regulatory Agency, which "works to save lives and keep families safe by reducing the risk of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products." The site contains information about consumer product recalls, as well as, hundreds of free publications addressing fire safety, electrical safety, household products, home heating equipment, indoor air quality, playground safety, pool and spa safety, and many other product categories.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development - the HUD site provides information on many topics, including health and safety related issues such as Healthy Homes for Healthy Children and Accessibility Analysis of Model Building Codes.
Lead Paint, Radon, Asbestos, Mold & Indoor Air Quality
Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning - a non-profit organization, headquartered in Baltimore, "that creates, implements, and promotes programs and policies to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and further healthy homes." Established in 1986 as Parents Against Lead, the Coalition is now a nationally recognized organization whose services extend throughout Maryland and Delaware, as well as St. Louis and Miami. The organization also provides advisory services to organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Rebuilding Together Baltimore - Thank you Wes!
EPA Sources of Indoor Air Pollution - Lead (Pb) - Sources of lead, lead health effects, steps to reduce exposure to lead, additional resources.
Booklets & Brochures about Lead in Paint, Dust, Soil & Drinking Water
EPA's Indoor Air Quality - studies by the Environmental Protection Agency "indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels." Be sure to check out the section on Improving Indoor Air Quality, which contains information about asbestos, biological contaminants, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, mold, mildew, nitrogen dioxide, pesticides, radon, tobacco smoke, and other volatile organic compounds. How much time do you spend indoors?
Booklets & Brochures about Mold, Mildew and Moisture Control
HUD Healthy Home and Lead Hazard Control - Documents, regulations, technical guidelines dealing with lead-based paint in housing.
The Healthy House Institute - this site is designed to help you improve your home's interior environment, especially its indoor air quality. Their links page contains dozens of sites dealing with human health, the indoor environment, energy efficiency, and sustainable construction.
Books published by the Healthy House Institute:
Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon - " Why Should I Test for Radon?" " How Can I Get Reliable Radon Test Results?" "What Should I Do If the Radon Level is High?" These are just a few of the many questions that are answered in this guide. There is also a list of state radon offices and regional EPA offices. Download the full guide in PDF format by clicking here (1.8 MB).
USGS Radon Information - contains information from the Energy Resource Surveys Program of the U.S. Geological Survey and links to other information about radon.
Radon Concentration Map - a color coded United States map, which provides "predicted median annual-average living-area concentration, by county" so you will have a general idea if radon is typically an issue in your area.
Infiltec - specializes in air infiltration measurement and control technologies and radon mitigation products, including blower doors, duct leakage testers, radon fans, pipe couplings, gauges, test kits and other related products. Their site contains some excellent information, pictures, drawings, and product catalogs.
RADON.COM - This site is a production of Air Chek, Inc., who makes "the most widely used charcoal test kit in the world." They have slide shows, Radon facts, FAQ's, and links to plenty of other sites with information about Radon. Many building codes require that some type of Radon mitigation be integrated into new homes. Even if it is not required, a vent pipe running from under your basement slab, up through your house and out the roof, might be very good insurance.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration - The OSHA Web site offers technical information, safety guidelines, laws & regulations, statistics, job site posters, publications, and other life safety information.
United States Fire Administration - part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the fire safety section of this site provides information about smoke alarms, residential sprinkler systems, product recalls and facts about fire.