Keeping fire safety in mind while spring cleaning is important, and could help prevent fires. Things like cleaning the dryer’s lint filter after each load of laundry, removing lint that has collected around the drum, and keeping the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.
Check all smoke alarms and ensure smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home, including the basement. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them at least once a month and replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once are year. Replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8 to 10 years or according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Check electrical cords. Frayed or chewed electrical cords start many house fires. Exposed electrical wires will light your floor or rug on fire in no time. Pets often chew on electrical cords as well, causing serious fire hazards. Do not overload outlets. The blades inside electrical outlets loosen over time, something you may notice when you plug in an appliance and the cord falls out easily. This may seem like a little more than a nuisance, but loose blades can generate intense heat that can lead to fires. Your best bet is to replace outlets as soon as you notice that plugs don’t fit snugly.
In places such as the kitchen, keep a 3-foot zone between combustible materials, such as paper towels, pot holders, hand towels, etc. and the burners.
In addition to clothes dryers, smoke alarms, and outlets, fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned accordingly.