Spring is in full swing, and we are loving every minute of it. We’re enjoying the longer days, and are in our homes less, but that can cause danger. Besides home invaders being more active during the warmer months, there is something else that gets little attention: fire safety. It’s so easy to make sure your home is protected from accidents that it usually goes unnoticed until it’s too late. The easiest way to make sure this doesn’t happen to your family and home is to take care of fire-proofing your home during a routine spring cleaning. Here are a few simple fire-safety measures to take in your home this spring:
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and replace batteries if needed.
- If you don’t have a smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarm, make this spring the season of protection by making that purchase.
- One alarm is not enough, and because they are fairly inexpensive ($6 – $20), a sensor should be installed on every floor of your home.
- Make sure doors and windows allow for easy and fast escapes.
- Remember to clean the lint filter before or after every load of laundry.
- Keep the area around your washer and dryer clear of things that can burn (boxes, cleaning supplies, clothes, etc.).
- Make sure to have a fire extinguisher handy.
- Anything that can catch on fire should always be away from the stovetop (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, etc.).
- ALWAYS stay in the kitchen when frying anything on the stovetop.
- Check for water or fuel leaks (especially in outdoor grills).
- Check electrical cords to make sure they’re not frayed, or running under doorways or carpets.
- Have an electrician come out and install more outlets if necessary, because extension cords are not supposed to be used long-term.
- Update all damaged cords, wiring, fuses or breakers.
- As a general guideline, all cords should be unplugged when not in use (this will save you a lot on your energy bills, too!).
- Clean up piles of debris and trash outside your home (especially next to any external power source.
- Go through stacks of papers and magazines and get rid of anything you no longer need or use.
- Make sure nothing is stacked on top of or around heating appliances.
- Ensure cleaning fluids are stored properly and in a safe, cool location (and out of the way of children and pets).
- Inventory all indoor and outdoor chemicals, paints, and poisons. Store according to use, and properly dispose of anything that is expired or leaking (NOT in the trash can…check out your local government’s website for protocols).
- Have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio on hand for the approaching storm season.
Before a true emergency like severe weather, fire, or any similar event arises, a thorough plan of action that is prepared and practiced in advance can save lives and property.
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