Spring Cleaning and Fire Protection
Spring is a great time to get your home in order. While you’re in the process of spring cleaning, you can also focus on small things that can help you reduce accidental fires in your home. Fires can occur when you least expect them, but you can prevent them by following some simple guidelines as you do your spring cleaning:
Spring Cleaning Fire Safety Checklist:
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Replace smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm batteries and check them once a month by pressing the test button. Gently clean the alarms and make sure you are following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Kitchen - Keep countertops and stovetops free from grease and clutter. Excess grease and or dirt on the drip pan or stovetop can easily catch fire. Make sure you clean oil and food spills immediately after they happen and wait until the stove is cool and wipe away the oil or food spills. Keep items that could catch fire, such as oven mitts, towels, or wooden utensils away from your stovetop.
- Electrical Cords - Inspect the electrical cords in your home and replace worn or tattered cords. Don’t run cords under carpets or across doorways. This will prevent them from being damaged. Use extension cords only temporarily and plug-in major appliances directly into wall sockets.
- Clothes Dryers - 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 such as boxes, clothing, and boxes away from your dryer to a safer area.
- Grilling - Clean the grease or fat build-up after every use. Doing this not only reduces 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 the burners immediately. If you have a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid.
- Escape Plan - You should protect your family with an escape plan in the event 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 your household, including children, and pets in the plan.
While spring cleaning helps you get your house in order, it's also wise to concentrate on jobs that enhance your home's security. Fires can happen when you least anticipate them, but you can help prevent them by following these safety tips to your spring cleaning routine.