Almost all home fires can be prevented and last year the American Red Cross responded to more than 63,000 home fires. That’s 1 every 8 minutes and results in home fires being the single most common disaster across the nation. We created a Spring Into Safety Checklist that will keep you and your home safe.
Spring Into Safety Checklist
Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector
Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, it’s possible there’s simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries. Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a new detector.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
GFCI is a device that shuts off an electric circuit when it detects that current is following along on unintended path and they are installed by qualified electrician. You can test them using the test and reset buttons.
Bathroom Exhaust Fans
Moisture in a bathroom can lead to peeling finishes, warped doors, and even mold growth. The purpose of a bathroom exhaust fan is to control moisture and remove airborne odors and pollutants.
5 Step Cleaning Process
- Turn off all power to your bathroom
- Locate your bathroom exhaust fan
- Locate the exhaust fan blade
- Clean the cover and the fan blade
- Inspect the vent
Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that may not be necessary if you’re a small family without pets or allergies. If the filter is dirty, change it out; otherwise inspect it again next month and change every 2-3 months.
Air Conditioning System
Get all your ‘ducts’ in a row and consider getting your air conditioning system ready for summer by having it serviced. Refer to the user guides for specific regular maintenance.
Range Hood Filters
Clean range hood filters. Clean by using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes and then rinse it off.
Check and clean dryer vent, other exhaust vents to exterior of home. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. It should smell nicely of fresh laundry. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
Test your electricity to the extent that you can. Always, always be extra careful when working with electricity. Check that all outlets work, if they are warm to touch, discolored, make crackling, buzzing, or sizzling sounds or that plugs fit snugly into all outlets. If not, we recommend calling a professional and licensed electrician to troubleshoot any electrical problems.