Spring Fire Safety Tips
As spring approaches thoughts turn to cleaning up from the long winter, making repairs around the home and enjoying the outdoors. Keeping a few safety thoughts in mind will help you make your spring experience much more enjoyable.
Inside the Home:
- Check and clean your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Check your fire extinguishers
- Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords
- Prepare for storm related outages (make sure your flashlights and portable radios have batteries and that other supplies, such as bottled water, are stocked and available)
- Practice exit drills with your family so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency
- Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents
Outside and Around the Yard:
- Make sure your address numbers are up and visible from the street
- Clean up yard debris. Cut back dead limbs and grasses
- Maintain a clear 'fire zone' of 10' around structures. Clean up leaves and debris and consider using stone or non-combustible mulches
- Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances
- Get your grill cleaned and serviced. Check all propane tanks and lines for leaks and damage
- Keep 100' of garden hose with an attached nozzle connected and ready for use
In the Garage or Shed:
- Clean up and properly store paints, pool and yard chemicals
- Check fuels containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored
- Have all power equipment cleaned, serviced and readied for use
Spring cleaning can be fraught with danger, warns the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. To make sure you stay safe while sprucing up, Rosemont, IL-based AAOS offers the following tips:
- Follow proper lifting and bending techniques -- separate your feet to shoulder width and use your leg muscles to stand up. Do not try to lift heavy or awkward objects by yourself.
- When gardening, avoid prolonged repetitive motions such as digging, planting and trimming. Take frequent breaks.
- To get to hard-to-reach areas, use a step ladder rather than a chair or counter.
- Always be sure ladders are placed on a firm, level surface. Never use ladders on ground or flooring that is soft, wet or uneven. Do not overreach: Your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder.
- Read labels on gardening and cleaning products for proper use, and wear protective clothing when necessary.
- Store all chemicals at a proper temperature and out of reach of children and animals.