During spring-cleaning, home safety should be at the top of your "to-do" list. Unintentional injuries in the home result in nearly 21 million medical visits on average each year. Cleaning and organizing your home are significant steps toward creating a safe home. But, take care, because a good spring-cleaning often means climbing, lifting heavy objects and using strong cleaning solutions -- all potential safety hazards.
The Payson Fire Department encourages Rim Country residents to follow simple safety steps during cleaning to reduce risks, uncover and then remedy home safety hazards.
Spring-cleaning the safe way
Tackling a thorough spring-cleaning job might put families at risk for falls and poisonings -- the two leading causes of home injury in America.
Safety reminders include:
- Keep stairs, steps, landings and all floors clear of clutter.
- Carry only loads you can see over, keep one hand free to hold banisters and railings.
- Buckets are often used while cleaning and present a serious drowning danger to young children. Never leave a bucket or any standing water unattended, store buckets empty and upside-down.
- Follow safety recommendations when using harsh products, wear the proper gloves and masks. Do not mix products together because their contents could react with each other and create dangerous results.
- Never use gasoline as a cleaning solvent and never store gasoline in your home, even in small quantities. Because its vapors can readily ignite, it is too dangerous to use gasoline for any purpose, other than as motor fuel. Store flammable and combustible liquids outside in a locked shed or cabinet.
- When cleaning out cabinets, separate those items that read, "Caution," "Warning," or Danger" on them. Lock these items up, out of sight and reach of young children.
Home safety improvements everyone can make
Spring-cleaning provides a perfect chance to evaluate the safety of your home, identify hazards and fix them before an unintentional injury occurs.
The following list of safety improvements can be easily handled during spring-cleaning without a whole lot of trouble:
- Install grab bars and non-slip decals in all bathtubs and showers.
- Make sure all medications, caustic cleaning products, automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizer and other household chemicals are in their original containers and in a locked cabinet.
- Flush all unidentified and out-of-date medications down the toilet, rinse the containers well and discard them.
- Make sure all porches, hallways and stairwells are well lit.
- Sleeping areas should be protected by an UL-listed carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. Regular inspection and cleaning of heating equipment, along with proper use and maintenance of all appliances will help reduce the risk of CO poisoning.
- Use safety covers in electrical outlets and install cabinet latches in homes with young children. Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet, or out of children's reach.
Help us to help you
Have you replaced your smoke alarm batteries this year? If not, insert new batteries in every smoke alarm. Be sure to test your detector monthly and replace it if it's 10 years old or older.
Is your home's address clearly posted and visible from the street?
While the weather is still cool, now is the perfect time to create that survivable space around your home.
Have a great spring, enjoy Payson and Rim Country for all it offers and be safe. Until next time be "Fired Up" about spring-cleaning safety in your home.