Sometimes cleaning falls to the bottom of your list, but there are a few tidying and maintenance to-dos that you won’t want to miss for safety:
- Clean your lint screen after every load of laundry. Why? Failure to clean the dryer lint regularly is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires, and your dryer will work more efficiently to boot.
- Clean mold. Use bleach to clean visible mold. Be sure to fix the underlying problem causing the mold to occur because mold can be a serious health hazard.
- Clean up clutter. Make sure every room and set of stairs is free of piles of paper, boxes/cardboard and the floor is free of clutter so that there is a clear pathway to windows and doors. All possible escape routes should be clear in case of fire or other emergencies.
- Organize your cords and power strips. Use zip ties or an organizer to straighten cords to reduce fire hazards and tripping risks.
- Dust your smoke alarm and smoke detectors. Replace smoke-alarm batteries once a year.
- Schedule a yearly chimney and fireplace or wood-burning stove inspection and schedule a cleaning if needed. Chimney build-up can fuel a chimney fire.
- Dispose of cleaning supplies that are leaking or expired through local waste management – these chemicals can accelerate a fire.
- Get rid of excess dryer bags, grocery bags, and other plastic bags that are a hazard for pets and children.
- Outside your home, clear all stairs and walking areas of fallen limbs, sticks, and leaves that can become slip and fall hazards.
- Clean your gutters. Leaves can become fuel for fires on the roof.