SafeBee’s Top Spring Safety Tips
10 ways to stay safe and healthy this season
Spring has sprung, the grass is ‘riz. Wondering where the safety advice is? Here, ten ways to stay healthy and safe this season, whether you’re mowing the lawn, cleaning the house or taking a joy ride.
Replace those windshield wipers. Improve your visibility before those April showers by replacing your wipers. Check to see if they are worn, cracked or rigid, advises AAA. Streaking is a sign they need to be changed.
Crack open the windows. Spring clean with the windows open, especially if you’re using toxic cleaning products. (Use gentler ones whenever possible). If you can, run a fan when cleaning in enclosed spaces.
Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do this and while you’re up on the ladder, replace the batteries. “Even if the batteries aren’t all used up yet, change them anyway,” suggests Amy Artuso, program manager and home and community safety expert for the National Safety Council.
Get ahead of springtime allergies. Start taking your allergy medications before the worst symptoms hit, advises the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “Although people think spring starts in April or May, spring allergy symptoms begin earlier, so start taking your prescription allergy medications two to three weeks before your symptoms normally appear,” they recommend.
Tune up your two-wheels. Take your bike to your local mechanic to clean away any gunk that has built up on the brakes and gears over the winter and make sure all the parts are in working order, especially the chain. Here are other tips to get your bike ready for spring.
Replace your air conditioner filter. Buy a new filter at your local hardware store and follow the manual’s instructions on how to install it. “Putting a new filter in helps the furnace or air conditioner run more efficiently, and it does take dust and particles out,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for UL.
Be ladder smart when cleaning your gutters. As temperatures start warming up, you can finally clean the gunk out of your gutters. But don’t kill yourself over it, so to speak. Make sure the ladder you use isn’t too short — it should extend at least 3 feet over the top of the roof. Put it on firm, level ground. If the ground is uneven, you can buy “leg levelers” at a hardware store. Place straight or extension ladders at a 75-degree angle. (Stand straight with your toes touching the front of the ladder, where it leans away from you. Stretch out your arms in front of you. If your palms touch the top of the rung that’s at shoulder level, the angle is correct.) Finally, have someone hold the bottom.
Clean out your medicine cabinet. Throw out expired medication (especially expired prescription medication), supplements and sunscreens. And move medications that shouldn’t be in your medicine cabinet to begin with to a cool, dry, dark place. Be sure to dispose of medications safely.
Practice mower smarts. With warmer temperatures comes growing grass. Before you rev up your lawn mower, check that all small parts, like filters, belts, bolts and safety shields, are in place and in working condition. Make sure the blades are sharp enough for the job (have a pro sharpen them if they aren’t). Don’t forget to wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, protective eyewear and of course, sunscreen, advises Drengenberg.
Watch for potholes. After this year’s hot and cold winter weather, you might encounter a few more potholes than usual. Stay alert on the road (put down the phone!), keep your tires properly inflated, avoid puddles (which may disguise a pothole) and straighten the wheel if you go over one. Make sure you have a spare tire in the trunk — some new cars don’t include them.
Related: How to Avoid Pothole Damage
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