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 that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are tested monthly and batteries changed 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 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 are not overloaded.
• Be sure all cleaning products, household chemicals, paints and poisons are properly marked and safely stored out of children’s reach.
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.
In addition to these safety tips, remember all Loudoun County residents must adhere to the current open burning guidelines. In areas where burning is permitted, the “4 p.m. law” is in effect from February 15th until April 30th. Please note that beginning May 1st there will be no open burning permitted anywhere within the county until October 1st, 2013.
For information regarding the 2013 Loudoun County open burning guidelines, please visit the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s website at http://www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or call 703-737-8600.