You’ve changed the clocks and been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. While you’re in the throes of all that cleaning, take a moment to add these general safety tips onto your honey-dos. From the ceilings to the medicine cabinets, now is a great time to make your home as safe as possible for the new season. Here are a few ideas to kickstart your plans.
TEST YOUR SMOKE ALARMS AND CHANGE BATTERIES
Your smoke detectors need to be checked at least once a month. This means you need to hold down the test button and wait for the siren to sound. Easy, right? Bet it’s been a few months since you’ve checked! That’s ok, you’re going to get out there and test your smoke detectors today! If the siren is weak, it’s time to replace the batteries. Try lithium or long-life batteries to reduce how often you need to change them.
If the smoke detectors in your home are eight to 10 years old, experts recommend replacing the entire unit, even if it isn’t broken.
CHECK YOUR WINDOWS
More than 3,300 children are seriously injured a year from window falls, so don’t assume your screen is enough to keep kids safe and sound. Window safety doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the spring breeze, but you may need to be more conscientious of what your kids are up to. Keep furniture and general play spaces away from windows, and open the top sash (rather than the bottom) of double-hung windows for ventilation. An even better idea is to keep the windows locked unless you’re there to supervise the kids.
GET SMART SMOKE DETECTORS
Now you can link your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to your smartphone for maximum fire prevention! With this technology, firefighters can get to the scene fast and stop smoke and fire damage in their tracks. Ionization smoke alarms give fast warnings for flame fires and photoelectric alarms are faster at detecting smoldering fires. Try dual combination alarms for 360° protection against all types of fires.
It’s not enough to have smoke alarms, you need to put them in the right place! Keep them toward the middle of the room on the ceiling where air flows rather than at the edge of the ceiling. On vaulted ceilings, the smoke detector must be installed within three feet of the peak. Place smoke detectors three feet from a doorway into a kitchen or bathroom to reduce the chance of “nuisance alarms” going off from steam or burnt toast.
GO THROUGH YOUR MEDICINE CABINETS
Getting rid of either unwanted to expired medicine this spring is a smart safety move, and this tip isn’t just for people with kids! Most people who are sick or in pain aren’t painstakingly checking the expiration date before they take it. If your medicine cabinet is too crowded, you need to start organizing it so it’s easy to find the appropriate medication. The National Safety Council offers Seal & Send envelopes to safely return old or unwanted medication.
MAKE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN AND PRACTICE IT
Map out your home on a piece of paper and identify at least two exits and then determine a safe meeting location outdoors. Practice your fire escape plan and note any doors or windows that are difficult to open so you can fix them. If your home has a second story, install escape ladders and have your children practice using them.
For more home safety tips and tricks, check out our blog at Synergy Insurance. We know that great home insurance policies help families survive even the worst events. Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve by safeguarding your home against accidents and get a free quote to make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your home while you’re at it.
Spring cleaning isn’t just a way to get rid of dust and cobwebs — it’s a good time to think about family safety in the home. Disasters can happen at any moment – is your family ready for the worst? Our Disaster Preparedness Plan is designed to help you stay safe, calm and prepared in any situation. Download your copy today and be ready to face anything!