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spring-cleaning
It’s the perfect season to begin to cleaning the inside and outside our homes. Spring cleaning typically involves lifting, moving heavy objects, using ladders, and working outdoors. Heavy lifting and physical activities can increase the risk for at-home injuries.  According to the Home Safety Council, there are over 10 million unintentional home injuries nationally per year that result in visits to hospital emergency rooms. These injuries result in over 20,000 deaths per year. Falls and poisonings cause over half of home deaths. Here are a few safety tips as you clean your home this Spring.

Avoid House Fires
• According to NFPA, almost two-thirds of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Make sure there is a smoke detector installed in each level of your home. Test each detector monthly, and change the batteries as needed.
• Place a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and check to see it is in proper working condition.
• Do you have a fire escape plan? There should be an escape plan for each room in your home. Prepare one and practice the escape route with your family.

Prevent Injuries
• Ladders – Read the instructions and warning labels before using your ladder. For every four feet of ladder height, the bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall or object it is leaning against.
• Lifting Techniques – Bend at the knees and keep your back straight when lifting. Make sure to keep the object close to your body.
• Yard Work – Inspect and service all equipment, such as your lawnmower and hedge trimmer, at the start of each spring. Repair or replace damaged items. Wear proper clothing and protective equipment. Store gasoline in a proper UL Classified container.

“Breathe new life and energy into your home. The first rite of Spring is to clear out the dust, dank odors and darkness of the winter. The first warm rays of spring are a time to throw off the weight of winter and start fresh.”

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