When making a spring cleaning checklist, you will likely come up with a number of items that will spruce up your home. What you may not include on that list are things that will improve your safety. Here are some spring cleaning chores you should not neglect to do in order to keep everyone in your household safe.
1. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke detectors should be checked at least twice each year. Using a can of smoke detector test aerosol, spray a fine mist just in front of each smoke detector, then wait to see if an alarm sounds. Once you have determined that it is operating properly, press and hold the test button to check the battery strength.
Carbon monoxide detectors on the other hand should be checked by a professional, as there are no accurate home tests. You can, however, check the strength of your batteries by pressing and holding the test button to check for a beep. If your carbon monoxide detector is more than five years old, you should consider replacing it.
You may want to consider monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that add an extra level of protection for you and your family.
2. Check Fire Extinguishers
Your next line of defense against a home fire is a working fire extinguisher. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher, and recharge or replace as needed. You should also make sure your fire extinguisher is mounted in an easily accessible location and that there are no obstructions surrounding it. Be sure that each member of your family knows how to use it properly.
3. Update First Aid and “Bug Out” Kits
Now is the time to thoroughly check your home’s first aid kit for items that are missing or have expired so that you can replenish them. Your first aid kit should also contain over-the-counter medications for diarrhea and headaches, in addition to a good supply of bandages, medical tape, gauze, etc.
You should do the same check-up with your bug-out bag, or create one if you haven’t done so already. What is a bug-out bag? It is a portable emergency kit that contains all essentials items necessary to survive for at least 72 hours in an emergency or disaster scenario. At a minimum, you should have enough non-perishable food items and water for each of your family members to survive for three days. Important items which should also be included in this bag are first aid supplies, a whistle, a flashlight, batteries, and a battery operated radio.
4. Review Emergency Preparedness Plans
Your emergency preparedness plan may no longer be effective if your circumstances have recently changed. You may also have forgotten what was in your plan if it has been some time since you last looked at it. Go over your plan with your family and update information to ensure that it is accurate and that everyone thoroughly understands how it is supposed to work.
5. Clean out your Medicine Chest
Many of the drugs inside your medicine chest may have expired along with your first aid supplies. These medicines should be disposed of by contacting your local pharmacy or poison control center, as many of them cannot be simply thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet.
6. Replace Filters
Replacing the air filters in your HVAC and air-filtration systems will help you better manage the allergens that are so prevalent during springtime. You may find that a great deal of dust and debris have accumulated during the winter months, in which case changing the filters on your range hood, vacuum, and refrigerator are recommended as well.
7. Schedule a Check-up for Pets
Flowers aren’t the only things coming back to life in Spring. Fleas and ticks begin to flourish with the coming of spring weather. Now is the best time to schedule your annual check-up for your furry family members to make sure they are staying nice and healthy! You should include year-round preventive heart-worm medication, as well as flea and tick control medication in this visit. This should help keep both your pets and your home pest free!
After performing these chores, be sure to contact Bates Security for a home security evaluation. We can help you identify things that might be compromising your security, and then come up with practical solutions for solving them.