Spring cleaning provides a perfect opportunity to evaluate the safety of your home, identify hazards and fix them before an unintentional injury occurs. The Home Safety Council provides the following list of safety improvements you can easily make while spring cleaning.
- Install grab bars and non-slip decals in all bathtubs and showers.
- Make sure all medications, caustic cleaning products (example: drain openers, toilet and oven cleaners, rust removers, etc.), automotive fluids (example: windshield washing solution and antifreeze), pesticides, fertilizer and other household chemicals are in their original containers and in a locked cabinet.
- Make sure all dangerous products have child-resistant caps, including cleaning products and chemicals.
- Check to be sure flammable and combustible liquids are stored outside in a locking shed or the garage. Gasoline must never be stored or used inside your home, even in small quantities.
- As medicines age, the chemicals inside them can change. Be sure to flush all unidentified and out-of-date medications down the toilet, rinse the container well and discard it.
- Store matches, lighters and candles in a locked cabinet, out of childrens reach.
- Have you replaced your smoke alarms batteries this year? If not, insert new batteries in every smoke alarm.
- Homes with young children should install window guards to keep children from climbing up and falling out of an open upper window. Make sure window guards also have a quick release mechanism so an adult can open them in case of a fire.
- Make sure all porches, hallways and stairwells are well lit.
- If your home has an attached garage, a fireplace or woodstove, or has appliances and equipment powered by fossil fuels (such as gas or oil), you are at risk of potential Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
- Put your poison control center number (1-800-222-1222) near every phone and make sure guests are aware of the number.
- Use safety covers in electrical outlets and anti-scald devices in faucets in homes with young children.
- Do you know the temperature of your hot water? Temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit can burn a childs skin in seconds. Test your hot water at the faucet and have the water heater temperature adjusted to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Some models can be adjusted by the homeowner. Contact your utility company with questions.
- If you have a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it and install it properly, near an exit; children should not be permitted to handle a fire extinguisher.
- Practice pool safety.
- Keep outdoor walkways and porches clean and in good repair. All steps should have a handrail. Repair broken or chipped bricks, cracks in cement and other hazards that could cause a fall.
Download our free safety tip sheet. (PDF)