If you’re like many families across California and the entire country, at some point this spring you’re going to go through your home and indulge in a little Spring Cleaning. Most people only pay attention to the clutter that accumulated and the dust that built up since last year’s cleaning process, but safety-conscious residents might take things a bit further to focus on improving those aspects of a residence that could pose a hazard under the right circumstances. If you’re such an individual, heed some of the safety tips suggested by Maryland’s Fire Marshal.
Start with the clutter. It might not only look unseemly, but it could be dangerous if random pieces of junk are blocking pathways, windows, and doors, all of which act as potential escape routes in the event of an emergency. Throw away things you don’t need, and store in the proper place items that you absolutely can’t bear to part with. You may not consider yourself a hoarder, but if you’ve amassed a substantial number of stacked newspapers, magazines, and mail, you need to recycle these. Otherwise, a those materials can act as kindling, and small fire could spread quickly.
You need to store gasoline and cleaning solutions for similar reasons. These should be kept away from the home in an appropriately cool and dry storage area. That area needs to be locked, especially if you have kids and animals whose curiosity often gets the better of them. If you have some sort of home work station, whether in the garage or in a converted room of the house, you should always take pains to properly put away potentially hazardous materials when you’re done using them. That includes things like matches, power tools, and anything else that could pose a danger if a child gets ahold of it.
Be cognizant of the random situations that could lead to a disaster in the household. As you clean your home, check to make sure that every appliance is in good repair, including its cord. Double check that wiring throughout your home works well, and also give your breakers and fuses a once-over. Look over your pipes to see if they’ve sprung a leak, and push heating items like space heaters away from walls and furniture. It’s the spring, after all; you likely won’t need these devices until next fall.
Instead of just fixing things and throwing objects out, also make sure that your home is equipped with those things that can save a life. You should have a couple flashlights and a radio that works off of batteries. You also ought to take steps to implement and get everyone on the same page with a family emergency plan. Having a plan in place can protect your family in the event that a disaster unfolds despite all your careful preparations.