They say there’s no better way to make it rain than to wash you car so maybe the same applies to spring cleaning, maybe spring cleaning makes the weather lousy. Either way, it needs to be done at some point so here are a few tips to make sure you do it safely.
Spring cleaning indoors:
- When vacuuming and sweeping, check for electrical cords crossing your path or running under rugs. Cords should be out of pathways to avoid tripping and should never be hidden under rugs or furniture where they could overheat and potentially start a fire. Inspect these cords for damage such as fraying or cracking, which is cause for replacement.
- Check outlets to ensure they aren’t overloaded. An outlet that makes popping noises, is hot to the touch or has sparks coming out of it should be checked by a certified electrician.
- When cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen, make sure electrical appliances are not placed where they’ll get wet. Electrical parts can become grounded when wet, posing an electric shock or overheating hazard.
- When dusting, check lamps and fixtures to ensure they have light bulbs with the correct wattage. Wattage should be of equal or lesser value than that recommended by the manufacturer.
Spring cleaning outdoors:
- Winter’s inactive muscles can take only so much strain. Don’t overdo it — build up slowly so you don’t have strains that can put you out of commission for some time
- If you use power tools to work outside, make sure extension cords are marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Overloaded cords may lead to electric shock and serious injury.
- Wear safety goggles and other protection as recommended by the equipment or tool manufacturer when mowing, trimming or edging. Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in moving parts.
- Check for overhead power lines when using ladders to clean your gutters or pool cleaning equipment that could reach within 10 feet of the lines. Touching an overhead power line can lead to serious injury or even death from electric shock.
- When digging in your yard to plant new flowers and plants, make sure you know where underground electric lines are located. Always call 811 or 1-800-DIG-TESS (toll-free) at least two working days prior to digging in order to locate underground utility lines.
- If planning on trimming trees, check for overhead power lines. The only safe way to trim trees within 10 feet of power lines is to call a professional. Every year people are injured or even killed when they climb or prune trees near power lines. Tree limbs in contact with power lines can act as conductors, and a person can be seriously injured if contact is made.
Spring Lawn Care Safety Tips:
- Lawn care, yep that time of year too. Before mowing, prepare your lawn by walking over it, checking for broken limbs, stones, toys and anything else that could shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade. Before you start your lawn mower for the first time, check to make sure that all guards are in place. Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
- Garden tools such as rakes, spades, forks, pruning clippers, files and metal plant stakes should not be left lying around when not in use. Store these with sharp points aiming down.
- Practice poison prevention. Store pesticides and herbicides in original containers, on high shelves or inside locked cabinets, out of the reach of children. Keep the telephone number of your area Poison Control Center near your telephone: 1-800-222-1222.