Spring Into the Warmer Weather with These Cleaning Tips
The calendar may say Spring is here, but this year has felt like Old Man Winter would never leave. Did you know Ottawa has had snow on the ground since November 13!? And since we have won bragging rights, did you know we had at least one centimetre of snow on the ground for a record 147 straight days?!
On a more positive note, Spring is finally here and it’s time to step out of hibernation and prepare for the warm weather we have desperately been waiting for. The fresh start of Spring is the best time to ensure your home and yard are safe and prepared for another year. Nothing says a change of season like Spring cleaning!
Here is a Spring cleaning checklist for inside your home to get you started:
Replace your Filters
Winter weather keeps us inside more often with doors and windows closed to stay warm. Trapping air inside your home also means that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. To help improve your indoor air quality, air out your house while spring cleaning and be sure to clean or replace the filters on your air conditioning unit and furnace. Don’t forget to check the filters of the dryer, vacuum, range hood, and fridge.
When possible, use organic cleaners to help minimize the risks associated with toxic cleaners. Be mindful of the people, and animals, in your household who may be exposed to these cleaning products. Be aware that natural does not necessarily mean non-toxic, and carefully review labels for dangerous chemicals before purchasing and using them. Household cleaners made out of common kitchen items, like vinegar, lemon juice or baking soda have stood the test of time when it comes to cleaning simply and safely.
Check your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Ontario law requires carbon monoxide detectors near all sleeping areas in homes with fuel-burning appliances (such as furnaces, stoves or fireplaces). It also applies to all residences with attached garages. You should have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, and check the batteries in each one every month. Most people also don’t know that the gas sensors in CO detectors have a limited lifespan, and the test button only tests the battery, not the sensor. Be sure to replace or recalibrate your detectors at least every five years, even if the detector still beeps when you push the test button.
Test the Batteries in your Smoke Detectors
It is also the law in Ontario that all homes have working smoke detectors on every floor and outside all sleeping areas. To verify your smoke detectors are in working order, test each one individually. It is vital that everyone in your household can hear every detector from anywhere in the house. If the detector being tested doesn’t let out an alarm loud enough for everyone to hear, change the batteries and test it again. If it still doesn’t work, replace the detector.
Check your Fire Extinguishers
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and your home by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. When choosing a portable home extinguisher, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access location. Remember that although fire extinguishers can have a long shelf life, they eventually expire, so be sure you check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers and keep them updated.
Review (or Create) your Household Emergency Plan
A new season is a perfect time to create or review your disaster preparedness plan with every member of your household. Be sure to update it to reflect any changes in the past year. Your plan should include at least two meeting points, an emergency contact person, and an evacuation route. Once you have created or reviewed your plan, run a few drills to simulate an emergency situation that can occur in your area, like fire, flooding or hurricane.
Clean out the Medicine Cabinet
Spring is the perfect time to take inventory of your medicine cabinet. Properly dispose of all expired and unused medications in your home. Many medications are considered too dangerous to throw away or flush down the toilet, so call your pharmacy or the city to find any drop-off sites that will take your expired medications.
Update your First Aid and Emergency Kits
Check your first aid and emergency kits and replace any missing or expired items. Make sure you have all the essentials, including fresh bandages, water, batteries, candles, emergency phone numbers, and important household information.
Now that inside is done, getting outside to get the yard ready is high on everyone’s Spring cleaning list
Here is a Spring cleaning checklist for outside your home to get you ready for the warmer weather:
Take your Time
It’s been a long winter and most of us itching to get outside and tend to the yard. Digging, planting, mowing, and trimming is a serious workout and can be strenuous on your spine and joints after a winter of inactivity. Decrease your risk of injury by warming up appropriately. Stretch before vigorous activity, stay hydrated, lift with your legs, use well-maintained tools, and break up heavy loads into multiple trips.
Dress Properly for the Work at Hand
A big part of staying safe is dressing for the part. Depending on the activity you will be participating in, make sure you’re using the proper safety equipment: wear safety goggles, knee pads, sturdy shoes, and long pants, as well as gloves and ear protection if necessary.
Stay Safe when Climbing Ladders
When cleaning out eavestroughs or trimming trees, place ladders on solid footing and have a spotter. Avoid overextending your reach by taking the time to move the ladder into a proper position. If you need any tools for your job, have them close at hand and easy to reach.
Keep your Yard Clear of Hazards
Do a quick walk through your yard to check for rocks, debris or garbage that may have accumulated over the winter. Injuries can result from tripping on objects or hitting them with your lawnmower, so make sure your grass and walkways are clear.
Check your grill
Before turning on your grill, examine all the components to make sure they haven’t been broken or damaged during the winter. Be sure to check for small animals like mice, which tend to make homes in BBQs during the colder months. Mice can block gas lines and cause an explosion if turned on. Thoroughly clean all grilling surfaces before placing food on them.
Spring cleaning is a sure sign that greener and warmer days are near! The change of season is a great time to do a Spring safety check inside and outside of your home. Follow these Spring cleaning safety tips to get your home ready inside and out.
If you think you overdid it raking the lawn or would like an assessment to ensure you are in peak physical shape this Spring, book an appointment with one of our Chiropractors at Curavita Health Group today!