Spring is here, or at least it should be. The weather is turning warmer, albeit slowly. Even these slightly warmer days make us want to fling our widows open and air out our homes. It is a season of optimism with trees budding and flowers about to bloom, the promise of life is evident everywhere you look. This can sometimes lead us to forget about the hazards that can come with spring.
Opening windows and door to bring the fresh air inside feels wonderful, but it can make your home less secure. While crime rates of home invasion, breaking and entering, and burglary are not as high compared to other seasons, it is still best to practice safe home etiquette. Leaving a window open, especially when you are not home, makes your home easier to rob, and thus acts as a target for thieves. Even if you are in the backyard, preparing your flower beds, it’s a good idea to lock any doors or windows you can’t easily see. Imagine coming in from your backyard only to find a thief has walked in your front door, or cut through the screen door, and has now made off with several valuable items. A grab and run home invasion can take less than 3 minutes, and leave you feeling vulnerable, and financially stressed. Filing a claim can be a real damper on the lightness of the season.
Be sure to check your air conditioning unit prior to starting it up. Hot days are ahead, and we never can be sure exactly when the weather will suddenly spike to uncomfortable levels, leaving us unable to sleep in the heat of night. Any dead leaves left from last fall should be cleared out of venting and any vegetation which may have started to grow too close to your air conditioning unit needs to be removed or trimmed back. An air conditioner can over heat and catch fire, which is especially dangerous if you have a window unit, but also poses a risk with an outdoor unit. Make sure your air conditioner has good airflow to keep this risk at bay. It’s also a good idea to have a professional inspect your unit to ensure it wasn’t damaged by ice or clogged by plant material deeper inside. They can also check the connectivity of the wiring to ensure no rodents have chewed them or have otherwise become frayed.
If you love scenting your home with candles, spring can bring on a wave of wanting to fill your home with the scents of various blooms which may not yet be prevalent in the air. If you do light candles, make sure they are not near anything flammable. Open windows can cause lighter drapery to bellow in the wind, which may result in them reaching a flame that seemed a distance away. Wind can also knock some candles over and ignite furniture or linens.
Spring is also a time of cleaning, with the warmer weather and the sun hitting windows, its common to get the urge to make everything sparkle. This generally involves tasks which are not done regularly, like cleaning windows, vents, and other hard to reach places. Practicing safe habits when using ladders and creating potentially slippery surfaces is essential to avoiding a home accident such as falls, slips, and trips. Having someone home when you are doing this activity, or at least letting someone know to expect an “all clear” call at a specific time, could mean the difference between quick assistance, and hours on the floor should an accident occur. It is also important to make sure you have enough ventilation if you are going to be using harsh chemicals, such as bleach, and always where to appropriate safety gear, including gloves and safety glasses.
It is also a good idea to review your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage for any remodeling or large purchases you’ve made for your home.
Being mindful of our surroundings can make Spring a time of rejuvenation, life, and safety.