Although it might not quite feel like it here, it is officially spring. Yay! With the arrival of spring comes blue skies, blooming flowers, and, of course, the dreaded spring cleaning. This is the perfect time for a refresher on fire safety tips that really should be followed year-round. Keeping fire safety in mind while you are doing things around the house, like cleaning your dryer’s lint filter after each load of laundry, will help prevent fires. Here are some important spring-cleaning home fire safety tips to think about:
FACT: The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum. Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing. Dryer lint is one of the most flammable things in your house!
FACT: Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half. Ensure that smoke alarms are installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test them at least once a month by pushing the test button. Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year, unless you have the 10-year sealed battery alarms. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. Hard wired and battery-operated smoke alarms are only good for 10 years.
FACT: Most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop. Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop. Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
FACT: Roughly 3,300 home fires originate from extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorway or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets so you don’t have to use extension cords. Make sure you are unplugging things when not in use, such as phone and tablet chargers, and small appliances (toasters, coffee pots, etc.)
FACT: Most families don’t have an emergency supplies kit. Because we never know when disaster may strike, it’s important to have an emergency kit in your home and car. During your spring cleaning, check to see if any supplies need to be restocked or replaced in your emergency kits.
These are just a few things you can do to ensure your house is safe and prepared. Happy spring cleaning!