While spring cleaning allows you to get your home in order, you should also focus on tasks that improve your home’s safety. Fires can occur when you least expect them, but you can prevent them by following these safety guidelines for your spring cleaning routine.
Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarms batteries and test them once a month by pushing the test button. Gently clean the alarms, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions first. While smoke detectors don’t prevent fire damage, they certainly keep your family safe.
If you need to replace the detectors in your home, check out this list from Consumer Reports.
Keep countertops and stovetops free of grease and clutter. Excess grease on the drip pan or stovetop can easily catch fire. Clean oil and food spills immediately after they occur and wait until the stove is cool to wipe away the oil or grease spills. Keep items that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, towels, or wooden utensils, away from your stovetop.
The kitchen is one of the rooms in the home where fires are most common. Whether you are cooking or burning candles, keeping grease off of surfaces will reduce the chances of a fire significantly.
Inspect the electrical cords in your home and replace worn or tattered ones. Avoid running cords under carpets or across doorways to prevent them from being damaged. Use extension cords only temporarily and plug major appliances directly into wall sockets. Inspecting your washing machine or dishwasher is also a good way to prevent water damage to your home.
Excess lint in the dryer is the number one cause of clothes dryer fires. Clean the lint that has been collected around the drum before or after each load of laundry. Always use a lint filter and clean it regularly. Move combustible items like boxes and clothing around your dryer to a safer area.
Clean the grease or fat build-up after every use. Doing so not only decreases the risk of fire but also helps the food cook better. Check the propane tank, hose, and all connection points for leaks. If you smell gas when the grill is on, turn off the tank and burners immediately. If you have a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid.
You should have an escape plan in case of a fire or other disaster. The plan should include a map of each home level with two escape routes in each room. Discuss and practice the plan with everyone in the household, including children, and add pets to the plan.