7 Safety Checks To Add to Your Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, and there’s something that comes with it beyond the warmer weather — spring cleaning. 

As you take the time to refresh and revitalize your home, why not add some safety checks to your routine? Once the dusting is done, these quick and easy tasks can help ensure your home is safe and spotless for the rest of the year. 

1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you hear chirping sounds but it’s still too early for baby birds, it may be time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Go around your home and locate all your detectors. They’re usually in hallways, kitchens or bedrooms. Then, replace their batteries and ensure each unit is functioning properly. 

Depending on the type of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors you have, the batteries can last up to a year, but most need replacing every 6-10 months. For extra precaution, run a monthly test to make sure the batteries are still working. 

2. Fire Extinguishers

While fire extinguishers are usually out of sight and out of mind, doing a quick check could be life-saving. Most fire extinguishers have a life expectancy of 10-12 years, so if yours has surpassed its expiration date, it’s a good idea to replace it. Even if you know you have a newer extinguisher, check for any visible damage or corrosion that could indicate it won’t function properly in an emergency. 

This is also a great time to make sure your fire extinguishers are in ideal locations. At a minimum, you should have one fire extinguisher on each floor of your house. Kitchens, garages and bedrooms are prime areas to keep them, and a general rule of thumb is to place them along a path you would use to escape a fire. 

3. Water Heater

Without proper care and maintenance, water heaters can become a safety hazard in your home. Luckily, the water heaters in a Starlight Home are brand new, but there are steps you can take to prolong its lifespan and improve its efficiency. 

Give your water heater an annual inspection by checking for leaks or corrosion. Most of the time, small leaks can be fixed by tightening or replacing valves. 

The real concern with water heaters is the bacteria and sediment buildup that happens over time, making it harder for your heater to function properly. In just a few easy steps, you can flush your water heater to decrease its chances of breaking. Once you drain the discolored water and the new water runs clean, it’s good to go for another year. 

4. Appliance Cords and Outlets 

Other appliances that help make your home run smoothly are just as important to look at. 

Check the cords on stoves, microwaves, dryers and other appliances, which can become frayed over time. It’s also a good idea to look at the outlets your appliances are plugged into. If any outlets appear overloaded, consider removing a few cords and adding a surge protector to prevent electrical hazards.

Starlight appliances are always brand new, but after a year, it’s always worth giving them an annual check just to be safe. A few appliances to look at are your HVAC system, dishwasher and washing machine. As you move through your home, make sure each appliance has adequate space for ventilation to prevent overheating. If anything appears to be wrong, it’s always okay to call in a professional for further inspection. 

5. Windows and Doors

As your home’s first line of defense, ensuring your windows and doors function properly is crucial for safety and energy efficiency. These features will last for a while in a new construction home, but every now and then, it’s smart to check the overall condition of your locks, hinges, windows and doors. Repair or replace any damaged locks or seals, as they are vital for your home's security. Also be on the lookout for any gaps or cracks that may need caulking or weather stripping to prevent drafts. 

6. Garage Safety

From housing vehicles to serving as a storage area for tools or chemicals, there’s a lot that happens in your garage. 

If you install a garage door opener, begin by testing its auto-reverse safety feature. Place an item, like a piece of wood, under your garage door to obstruct its path. Then, make sure your garage door goes back up when it makes contact with the item. 

Next, ensure all chemicals and flammable materials are stored securely and away from heat sources or potential sparks. If organizing your garage is already on your spring cleaning list, now is a good time to invest in storage containers to reduce the risk of spills or accidents. 

7. Emergency Preparedness Kit

Being ready for an emergency is a hallmark of a safe household. Take the time to assess and replenish your emergency preparedness kit or create one if it doesn’t exist.

Start by checking your kit to make sure it has all the items you’d need to weather unexpected events. Non-perishable food items and an adequate water supply are a must. Check the expiration dates on canned goods and other non-perishables, replacing any items that may have reached the end of their shelf life. 

In case of power outages, make sure you have a reliable flashlight with extra batteries. First-aid supplies like bandages and pain relievers are also a good thing to have on hand. 

Looking to skip the spring cleaning with a brand-new home and appliances? Get in contact with one of our Home Guides and schedule an appointment today.

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