Spring is in full swing here in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, which probably means you are getting ready for your annual spring cleaning. While you’re Marie Kondo-ing your wardrobe and deep cleaning the bathroom, take a few extra steps help improve your home’s fire safety. Our fire damage technicians want to share a few spots around the house to tackle during your spring cleaning to reduce the risk of a residential fire:
Tackle the Lint Trap
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an average of 2,900 home clothe dyer fires are reported each year and cause $35 million in property damage and loss. You should already be cleaning out the lint trap after each load of laundry, but now is the time to deep clean trap and area behind the trap when you remove it. Lint can build up in the dryer filter, vents and hoses; potential leading to a dryer fire. You should also keep any flammable items like cleaning supplies, cardboard boxes and clothing away from the dryer.
Check Fire Safety Devices
Test out all of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure they are still working properly. Batteries in these devices need to be changed once a year, so if needed you should replace the batteries. The detectors themselves should also be replaced after a certain period of time – ten years for smoke detectors and seven years for carbon monoxide detectors. Gently clean the alarms themselves to remove any dust to avoid a false alarm.
An estimated average of 44,880 homes had fires involving electrical failure or malfunction each year from 2012-2016, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Walk around your home and look for any damaged or overloaded power cords, surge protectors and electrical outlets. Check for any worn, exposed or cracked wires – replace and repair as necessary. If you have any cords running across doorways, or under carpets, reroute them to eliminate potential damage.
Now that the weather is warming up, you are probably itching to throw a cookout and start grilling again! Before you turn the grill on for the first time this season, check your propane tank and all its connection points to ensure no leaks will happen while you’re cooking. If you only have a charcoal grill, make sure you only use charcoal starter fluid. Throughout the season clean off the great build-up after each use – which will make your food taste better and minimize the risk of fire.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
Messy kitchens can increase your risk of fire damage. While spring cleaning, make sure to scrub your stove and oven clean. Build up of grease and food splatter can potentially lead to a fire while in use later. Relocate any flammable materials (towels, oven mitts, etc.) you might store near your stove further away.
Create an Escape Plan
You and your family should have an escape plan in place in case of fire. Create a map of each floor of your home and designate at least two escape routes for each room. Go over it with your entire household, especially children, then practice to ensure everyone knows how to exit their rooms and where to meet outside. If you have pets, make sure to include them in your escape plan. You should also build an emergency kit to keep the escape plan and other items necessary in emergency situations.
We hope these spring-cleaning fire safety tips are helpful for you and your family! If you live in Westchester, or Fairfield, County and suffer from fire or smoke damage you can count on us. The experts at ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration Services are here to help when you need us most, 24/7. Contact us today to get started.