Springtime is here and nearly all of us have been stuck indoors for quite some time. So, what activity have most of us turned to with all this extra time in our hands? Spring cleaning! Yes, we know that really doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun but the act of cleaning can have therapeutic benefits while also helping you keep your home healthy and clutter-free. What’s more, it can help you improve and enhance fire and personal safety in the household.
You might be surprised to know that spring cleaning season is a time when the risk of in home accidents and injuries is heightened. It’s also a time when many severe fire and safety hazards in the home get overlooked. That’s a double whammy by our standards, so we want to provide you with an easy list of tips for remembering home fire safety hazards and ensuring your own personal safety during your spring cleaning.
- Be sure to thoroughly clean the lint trap in your clothes dryer. Failure to clear lint from the filter is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. Lint traps should be cleaned before and after each dryer use but during spring cleaning it never hurts to double check it.
- Anything flammable, like cardboard boxes, papers, clothing and cleaning supplies should be moved away from the dryer.
- While you work from room to room, make sure there are smoke alarms present on every level of the home, including the basement, and outside of every sleeping area. You should also make sure they are in proper working order with a basic smoke detector test.
- If it’s been about a year since you last replaced your smoke detector batteries, now is a time to do so. Remember that the next time you need to change them will be the beginning of fall.
- Remove anything from your stovetop that could pose a dangerous fire hazard. This includes oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging and hand towels. Low hanging curtains should be moved away or trimmed as well. Most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop.
- Make sure outlets are not overcrowded with electrical wires and extension cords and that no extension cords are running across doorways or under carpets. If you need to use extension cords on a regular basis, you should consider having a professional install more electrical outlets in your home.
- Use nontoxic cleaners whenever possible. A simple and inexpensive option for nontoxic cleaner is vinegar mixed with water.
- Keep all cleaning fluids a safe distance from any heat source, including outside under the sun. Many are combustible if overheated.
- As a safety precaution you should have the number for the police, fire department, poison control hotline and your doctor’s office posted by every phone in the house.
- Loose debris, like old rags, papers, tissue and wrapping paper, clothing and blankets, which pile up in closets, drawers or cabinets should be cleared out. They create a fire hazard inside the home.
- While cleaning, try to stay alert for loose floor boards or stair posts, sharp edges on furniture, tripping hazards or toxic materials left out in the open. This is the perfect time of year for stepping up the safety inside your home.
- Make sure your family escape plan doesn’t get tossed away with everything else. This is one document we recommend you keep visible.
Follow these simple spring cleaning safety tips and you’ll be sure to get through the rest of the season accident and worry free!