It seems ages ago that Central Florida was dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and we were talking about space heater safety.  Here we are basking in the warmth only a month removed from those cold temperatures.  But such is life in the beautiful Sunshine State, right?  Still, warm temperatures aren’t that big of an oddity in February.  In fact, we are only a few weeks from the time of year where we think of new life and the adage of spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning is a way to usher in a new feeling of liveliness, sweeping away the cobwebs and evicting the dust bunnies from under the couch that have built up over the winter months. So, before you break out the dusters, polishes, and the ladders, we have a few suggestions to add to your spring cleaning to-do list to keep your house clean and safe.

Before you dive in, make sure you have the proper equipment to protect yourself: safety goggles, rubber gloves for the harsh chemicals and a lightweight mask if you are sensitive to dust. Also, be sure to open up the house. The fresh Florida air will help wet floors dry faster and aid against harsh smells (it will also keep your pets safe from any chemical fumes).

So, here are Claims Pro USA’s top 5 spring cleaning tips:

1) Pay special attention to areas in the house where danger collects, like the clothes dryer. Use a lint brush or vacuum attachment to remove accumulated lint from under the lint trap and other easily accessible places. Clean or replace the filters in your dryer, vacuum, range hood, and refrigerator as well. Most metal filters, like the one in your range hood, can be easily cleaned by soaking in a mild soap and water mixture, then rinsed with clean water.

2) Test the batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors. This was a tip we shared last month as well because it is extremely important.  Most smoke detectors will beep if the battery is running low, but it is always better to be safe by manually pressing the test button. The gas sensors in Carbon Monoxide detectors have a limited lifespan and should be replaced or recalibrated at least every five years (even if the detector still beeps when you push the test button).

3) Check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers. Although fire extinguishers have a long shelf life they do eventually expire. Make sure it is in an easily accessible place and take note of the expiration date. This is also a great time to let other members of the house know the location of all fire extinguishers in your home or business.

4) Check and update your first aid kit and replace any used, missing or expired items. Make sure you have all the essentials well stocked, including new bandages, fresh water, emergency phone numbers for the local poison control center and your family physician. Also, be sure to update any supplies to an emergency kit like those for an evacuation or hurricane.  Remember, hurricane season begins on June 1st which is the tail end of the spring season.

5) Refresh and maintain your yard by trimming back dead trees limbs and pulling up shrubs.  Take time to carefully trim back any branches that have grown too close to electrical wiring or rooftops. Or, in the interest of safety, schedule a tree trimming service to come and do it for you. Check roof gutters and remove any buildup of leaves and debris that could potentially create a fire hazard, clearing any clogged and dirty gutters that pose a possible flooding danger to your roof.

Spring cleaning can be a dreaded and exhausting event but maintaining a safe (and clean) home will be well worth it. Recruiting family and friends to split the tasks will make it less daunting and possibly more fun for all involved. The Claims Pro USA family of Public Adjusters will all be out there in the next few weeks taking care of our own homes as well. See you out there!

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