“Beware the ides of March”: perhaps we as homeowners and renters should take this as a warning. A warning to be safe in our spring cleaning, and include safety updates in our big clean-out. Yes, it’s great to clear the clutter, but more important is home maintenance and keeping it up to safety standards.
We know, the DIY pins and posts will make you want to jump straight into the midst of things– but first, safety. Make sure you stretch before strenuous activity in the yard, wear clothes that protect your skin from the sun and any materials with which you might work. Wear safety goggles and gloves when necessary.
Inside the home, start with filters. Replace or clean air conditioner, vacuum, refrigerator, and dryer filters. Then, before you start the scrub down process, think about using organic cleaners to avoid putting toxic chemicals into your home. You can even use natural cleaners like lemon and vinegar to make your own solutions.
Check your CO and smoke alarms, replacing the batteries if necessary. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, if not sooner. Run a test on both alarms: have someone else in your household or a friend stand as far away as possible from you and the alarm. Hold down the test button. If the other person can’t hear the alarm, the detector needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Remember, you must have a smoke alarm and CO detector on every level of the home. There should also be a CO detector outside of every room.
All medicine has an expiration date, and becomes less effective over time. You probably don’t want to be taking Advil you’ve had in the medicine cabinet since the late 80s. Before you throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet, call your local pharmacy to find out where you can safely dispose of medicines. While you clear out and restock your medicine cabinet, restock your emergency first aid kit, too.
If you have a Family Emergency Plan, review it with your family. If you don’t, the plan should include two meeting points, an emergency contact person, and an evacuation route. Talk through the drills for natural disasters for your geographic area– in California, that would mean fire, flood, mudslides, and earthquakes.
Outside, trim overgrown trees and shrubs before they fall or get too close to electrical wiring. Clean out the chimney and gutters– buildup of debris is a fire hazard, which SoCal does not need more of! Watch for wasp nests and other critters as you clean outside, and watch stings for signs of an allergic reaction (swelling, itching, and trouble breathing).
And finally: ready, set, clean!
Share your spring cleaning tips in the comments below. Looking to spring clean your finances and insurance policies? Give BMR Insurance a call at 714-838-1911 for a free quote!