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:
Spring Cleaning Checklist
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Replace smoke and CO alarm 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.
- Kitchen – 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.
- Electrical Cords – 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.
- 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 like boxes and clothing around your dryer to a safer area.
- Grilling – 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.
- Escape Plan – 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.