Spring cleaning health and safety tips
While most people’s spring cleaning to-do lists have more to do with mops and brooms than safety precautions, the Public Health Agency (PHA) and local councils in Northern Ireland are urging people to take steps to improve home safety when carrying out the spring clean.
Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the PHA, said: “More accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, so this year we are calling on people to consider adding a few tasks to the spring cleaning regimen that are aimed at keeping your home not only tidy but safe also.”
To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of tips to consider when you’re doing your annual clean up.
- examine every blind in your home. If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available.
- ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.
- move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb.
- when cleaning out kitchen cupboards and cabinets it is also important to put household cleaners and medicines away to avoid accidental poisoning or chemical burns. Make sure they are out of the sight and reach of children in a locked or high-level cupboard, and clean up any spills.
- check that televisions, chests of drawers and shelving units are securely anchored to the wall as bulky, heavy furniture can seriously injure or even kill a small child if it falls on top of them.
- test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- if carrying out any DIY, avoid falls from height by checking a ladder’s condition before use
- stop and disconnect all electrical appliances and tools before repairing or cleaning them; only use tools/materials/products in accordance with their instructions
- always supervise children, especially when power tools and lawnmowers are being used, and tidy up all equipment straight after the job is done.
For more helpful tips on home safety visit www.rospa.com
Hilary continued: “While spring cleaning may sound harmless, many of the chores that people will be doing can lead to trips, slips and falls. It is also, unfortunately, a time when A&Es usually see a rise in DIY and gardening injuries, so it is important for people to take the time out to make sure that they think about their safety.
“It’s also a good time to remind everyone to reduce the risk of preventable accidents and to take steps to make the home environment as safe as possible.”