By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development–

Spring cleaning is much more than vacuuming and taking out the clutter that accumulated during the cold winter months.

In fact, spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to also ensure your home is safe, prepared, and non-toxic for another year.

Here is a handy checklist to help keep your home safe:

Replace Your Filters

Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Clean and/or replace filters on your air conditioning until, furnace, dryer, vacuum, range hood, and refrigerator.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Make sure smoke detectors are in good working condition and that each detector can be heard from anywhere in the house. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors should be outside every room in your house and batteries should be checked monthly.

Clean out Your Medicine Cabinet

Properly dispose of expired and unused medications. Call your pharmacy or local poison control company to find drop-off sites that will accept your discarded prescriptions.

Update Your Emergency Kits

Check your first aid and 72-hour kits and replace any missing or expired items.

Check Your Fire Extinguishers

Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access location. Fire extinguishers do have a long shelf life but do eventually expire.

Secure Your Valuables

Look for a reliable security system and if you already have one, call the company to make sure you have all updates.

Prepare for Thawing

Clear any snow or debris off your roof and check gutters for proper drainage to avoiding flooding, blocked vents, damaged shingles, and/or impaired gas/electrical lines.

Check Your Pipes

When you turn sprinklers back on, watch out for frozen nights that may cause frozen pipes or pipes that froze during the winter.

Clean Your Chimneys

Reduce the risk of fire and carbon monoxide buildup by cleaning chimneys.

Stay Safe on Roads

Schedule a vehicle maintenance check to ensure tires, wipers, and brakes are functioning properly. Many mechanics will offer low cost diagnostic checks to see if there are any problems that need to be addressed.

Review Your Emergency Plan

Look over your family’s disaster preparedness plan with everyone in the house. A good plan includes at least two rendezvous points, an emergency contact person, and an evacuation route. Make sure that everyone in your household is familiar with the plan and knows what to do in case of emergency. It’s never a bad idea to practice!

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