By Robert W. Seltzer

With winter behind us, spring has arrived! That means time to clean the house both inside and outside. As part of the spring cleanup, not only do you want your property to look good for the months to come, but you also want your property to be safe for your family.

Following the safety tips below will help your family safely enjoy the spring and summer months.

In the house

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, change batteries immediately if needed
Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords, replace where needed
Practice your family’s fire escape plan so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency
Windows should be checked to ensure they open and close properly, in case they are needed as an exit
Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents
Recycle: Get rid of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail. These items tend to pile up and can greatly contribute to the severity and spread of fire
Pull refrigerator out and vacuum or dust the coils
Always keep stairs and landings clear for safe evacuation in event of an emergency

Around the house

Make sure your address numbers are up and visible from the street
Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances for animal nests and to ensure proper wiring
Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages: Combustible materials are dangerous if they are exposed to heated automobile components, especially under the vehicle
Clean up and properly store paints, pool and yard chemicals
Check fuel containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored
Let power equipment sit for approximately 30 minutes before placing it inside to be sure there is no possibility of fire