An annual spring clean is a ritual undertaken by many of us, and is the perfect time to clean and declutter the home.  While some people associate spring cleaning with scrubbing floors and washing curtains, it can also be an ideal opportunity to make the home safer by identifying and fixing potential hazards.

If you’re planning a spring clean, consider the following tips to ensure the home remains safe for the entire family:

Clean and test smoke alarms
While vacuuming, use the brush attachment to gently clean smoke detectors and remove any accumulated dirt and dust build-up which can hinder the detector’s ability to function properly.  Then test your smoke detectors to check they are working properly and replace batteries if required.

ADT Security encourages customers to consider integrating smoke detectors into their monitored home security system. By doing so, the 24/7 monitoring centre will alert homeowners of a potential fire if the smoke detector is triggered.  For more information on integrated smoke detectors, read our blog here.

Check electrical cords and power boards
Exposed electrical wires are not only a major fire hazard, they can also cause power outages and electric shocks.  Thoroughly check electrical cords for fraying or damage, including those connecting to appliances and smart phone chargers, and repair or replace items found to be faulty.

Also ensure that power boards are fitted with a safety switch and aren’t overloaded to help prevent a short in the home’s electrical circuit.  Any unused appliances should be unplugged and the power switch turned off while the appliance is not in use.

Remove lint from the tumble dryer
Lint build-up can become a serious fire hazard as it can increase the temperature in the drum[1].  While removing lint is a task that should be done every time the dryer is used, if it hasn’t been cleaned recently remove the lint, clean the filter, and make a mental note to include this task as part of your laundry routine.

It’s also important to keep the area surrounding the dryer clean, so vacuum behind, beneath and around the dryer including the vent openings to help reduce dust build up.

Clear out the medicine cabinet
According to Kidsafe, one in three childhood poisonings are medicine related, while the other most common cause is household chemicals[2] (child poisonings associated with dishwasher detergent run into the hundreds each year).

With this in mind, clear out the medicine cabinet and throw away any medication that is no longer needed or has passed its use by date.  Ensure that all medicine is stored in high level or locked cabinets, out of children’s reach.

Household chemicals including detergents should also be stored securely. If there are young children in the house, make sure the cupboards are fitted with child-proof locks.

Home emergency kit
Every home should have an emergency kit with first aid items, a torch, spare batteries, candles and matches in preparation for a possible blackout or a local area disaster.  Each person living in the home should also know exactly where to find the emergency and first aid kits, and be able to quickly access essential phone numbers (e.g. local police and emergency services) should they be needed.

The concept of spring cleaning can be much more than simply tidying the home; it should also result in a cleaner and safer living environment. Take note of these important tips for extra peace of mind.

[1] https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/electricity/homeowners-and-consumers/clothes-dryer-safety

[2] https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/children-and-safety/avoiding-common-dangers/articles/dishwasher-and-laundry-detergents