While it might be hard to believe, we are already into the month of spring. Many safety advocates emphasize that springtime is as good a time as any to think carefully about removing injury hazards from your home by engaging in some serious spring cleaning. At the same time, however, it is important to understand the personal injury risks that can accompany the cleaning products you are using to rid your home of unwanted dangers. While the change of seasons often is not as palpable in the San Diego area as in other parts of the state, spring nonetheless brings about a sense of starting anew. This spring, we recommend thinking about spring cleaning, and doing so in a way that is healthy for you and your family.
Making Your Home Safer Through Spring Cleaning
According to a spring cleaning checklist provided by the National Safety Council (NSC), the following are important items to attend to every year:
Check the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors
You should actually be testing your smoke detectors batteries once per month to ensure that they are working properly. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing the batteries at least once per year. If you do notice that one of your smoke alarms is chirping, that means it is time to replace the batteries. Spring can also be a good time to install new smoke alarms in areas of your house where they are not yet located. You should have a smoke detector in each bedroom, as well as in common areas on each floor of your home. It is now possible to wirelessly connect your smoke detectors, too. As such, if one alarm detects smoke, all of them will begin sounding to alert your family.
Install Carbon Monoxide (CO2) Detectors
Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, but as the NSC explains, “it can kill you.” Anything that you currently use to burn fuel can produce CO2. You should install a carbon monoxide alarm in every bedroom and on every level of your house. As with smoke detectors, you should test the batteries at least once a month and change those batteries at least once per year.
Develop a Family Emergency Plan
It is important, in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster, to have a family emergency plan, according to the NSC. What is involved in such a plan? First, it should outline a plan for communication in the event that all family members are not in the same place during a natural disaster. It should also specify plans for taking shelter and evacuating. In addition, you should create emergency kits for your home and car with supplies like water, food, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, and medicines.
Discard Old Medicines
Spring is a perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinets and discard any drugs that have expired. It is never a good idea to take a medication that is beyond its due date.
Stay Safe While Cleaning
It is also important to ensure that you do not sustain a preventable injury while you are engaged in spring cleaning. An article from Consumer Reports recommends taking the following steps when you begin your cleaning your home:
- Check the cleaning product labels to ensure you are using them properly, and know that any cleaners that have warnings should be read and taken seriously.
- Use natural, or “green,” cleaning products whenever possible.
- Open the windows and air out your home while you are using cleaning chemicals.
- Do not attempt to lift heavy objects on your own, and do not strain while climbing ladders to clean or while moving furniture.
If you or someone you love recently suffered a serious personal injury, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. An experienced San Diego personal injury attorney can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.
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