Loudoun County, Va. (March 29, 2015) – As warmer weather approaches, so begins the annual task of spring cleaning inside and outside the home. Loudoun County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management reminds residents of important safety considerations as spring draws near.
Around the house:
• Check and clean smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. We recommend testing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and changing batteries regularly.
• Make sure all exits and escape routes are clear from debris and are easily accessible.
• Reduce clutter in and around your home. Clear at least a three foot space around your electrical panel, furnace, hot water heater, fireplace, space heaters and dryer.
• Have furnaces, chimneys and air conditioning units inspected by a licensed professional. Check electrical outlets, extension cords and power strips to ensure they’re not overloaded.
• Be sure all cleaning products, household chemicals, paints, and poisons are properly marked and safely stored out of children’s reach.
• If you smoke, frequently clean out the cigarette butt container. Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Hot ashes can smolder for days!
In the Yard:
• Trim bushes, plants, and trees surrounding your home and keep vegetation at least ten feet from the structure.
• Keep gutters and roofs clear of debris. If using a ladder, be sure the rungs are dry and the ladder is securely positioned on a flat surface.
• When operating a lawn mower, rake before you mow to prevent stones or loose debris from flying into the air. Never start a mower indoors and when refueling, make sure the engine is turned off and cool.
• Gasoline and cleaning fluids should be well marked and stored in a cool, dry place away from the house and out of the reach of children. Use only approved containers for gasoline storage.
• Spread mulch at least a foot away from the house with a non-combustible barrier in between, such as rock or gravel.
• Discard smoking materials in an appropriate container, such as a metal or ceramic pot filled with sand.
• NEVER use a container filled with soil/plants OR one made of plastic. Mulch is also combustible.
• Place cigarette butt containers away from the house. NEVER place containers on the porch, deck, or just outside the door.
For additional fire safety information, call Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager at 571-258-3222 or visit the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s website at www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal.