At this time of year, most homeowners work on a major spring cleanup. It is a time to clean out the garage, get rid of clutter, and tidy up the house in time for warmer months. A spring cleanup can also be a wonderful time to check the safety of your home. If you are already giving your home a closer look in order to clean it, why not take the extra time to ensure that your home is safe and secure as well as beautiful and clean? There are many ways that you can turn your spring cleanup into a safety tune-up:
1) Check your fire alarms and practice safety escape routes. Fully check all smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and other alarm systems at your home. Replace the batteries on any older fire alarms, and make sure that all alarms work efficiently. If you do not have enough alarms for your home, now is the perfect time to buy more. If you do not have fire extinguishers in your home, now a good time to fix that. If you do have fire extinguishers, make sure that they are still correctly pressurized and ready to deploy in the event of a fire. If you have a safety escape route for fires, practice your route with your entire family. If you do not have an escape route, take the time to devise one and practice it now. A good escape route as well as a home that is prepared for fire can mean fewer burn injuries as well as fewer fatalities in the event that a blaze does occur.
2) Check wiring in your home as well as appliances. If there is a burning smell your home or if it has been a while since your wiring has been checked, consider hiring someone to check your wiring. Faulty wiring and faulty insulation around wiring is a leading cause of fires and burn injuries. Be sure to check all your appliances and all the electrical cords in your home, as well. Any that are worn or damaged should be replaced.
3) Clean with an eye to safety. As you clean your home and get rid of clutter, keep an eye out for any possible safety dangers that you could remove. Are your paper-filled filing cabinets located near a heat source? Your spring cleanup is the perfect time to move them. Has it been a while since you have cleaned out the lint collector in your dryer? Now is a great time to do that to prevent a fire.
4) Tackle slip and fall accidents in the home. Look for areas where clutter tends to build up on the floor and set up a new system to insure that cluttered is taken care of. For example, if clutter tends to develop on the bedroom floor, buy a large hamper that is clearly visible and allows people to drop their dirty laundry right in the hamper, keeping walkways clear. If you notice slippery spots on the floor in the bathroom or kitchen, consider adding no-slip treads to these areas to keep floors safe.
5) Keep your home child-safe during and after your cleanup. During your cleanup, take extra precautions to ensure that your home is child safe. If you have small children and are using cleaning products, make sure that you keep the cleaning products well out of sight of children even while cleaning. Or, send children to stay at a friend’s house while you complete the cleaning. If you have to open up your pool in order to clean it, make sure that children are kept indoors and are constantly supervised until the job is done and the gates and fence can be secured again. Once you have cleaned up, make sure that you stow all dangerous chemicals and tools well out of sight and reach of children.