Spring cleaning is an annual ritual for many people. Just as the first crocus of spring ushers in a new beginning for nature, our spring cleaning habits signify a fresh start for us after the long winter months.
Spring cleaning can take on another meaning. It’s the ideal time to check our homes and yards for dangerous materials and unsafe conditions and spend the time to protect our families and our properties.
Start by taking a few minutes to plan your safety clean-up day. You will want to check each room in your house, including the attic and basement. Also, don’t forget the garage, yard and storage shed.
Plan to do several different things, including:
- Remove all hazards.
- Check and correct things like frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses or breakers.
- Remove stacks of paper and magazines and take them to recycling centers.
- Check for water leaks, especially near electrical appliances.
- Check for good clearance between heating appliances and combustibles.
- Properly store flammable liquids and home chemicals.
- Make sure that gasoline and cleaning fluids are well marked and are out of the reach of children and pets. Store in a cool, dry place outside the house.
- Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches or other work items away and out of any child’s reach.
- Inventory all home and yard chemicals, paints and poisons. Store them according to their label. Properly dispose of any that are expired or leaking or that look bad, but don’t throw them in the trash or down the drain.
- Make sure that all chemicals are kept under lock and key and out of reach of children and pets.
- Check fire protection and safety equipment.
- Check your smoke detector and fire extinguishers.
- Make sure all doors and windows open easily for fast escapes.
- Make sure your street numbers are posted properly and are visible.
- Check and make sure you have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio for the approaching storm season.
The next thing people should do is plan their escape.
Sit down with your family and make sure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.
Make sure you have two ways out of every room and that you have a meeting place outside the house for the whole family.
Practice the plan. Even the best plan is no good if you don’t practice it.
You can do a lot to protect yourself, your family and your property. In fact, you are the key to your safety. A little time spent on simple common sense prevention will do a lot to make your house a safer place.
The Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department is here to help. Anyone who would like to learn more can call (661) 277-3643/5598 for more information.