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 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 Smoke Detectors

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

Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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

Clean out 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 Emergency Kits

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

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 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 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 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.

Review 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.

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