Put safety first when doing spring cleaning

  • Published
  • By Regina Coffey
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Safety Office
Spring cleaning safety is not usually on people's minds when they begin to haul out all those cleaning supplies and equipment, but it should be.

Every day we need to be careful when going about our household chores. When you start tearing the house apart and moving things around during spring cleaning, especially cleaning supplies and equipment, it is doubly important to keep safety in mind.

Do not rush because you are tired or in a hurry

Spring cleaning can be tiring work.

Do not forget safety even if you have worked hard all day and just want to quickly get it done. The better thing to do when you are exhausted is to stop and take a break, drink a glass of water or sit under a cool fan.

Be careful moving large pieces of furniture and appliances

Use the proper lifting techniques - keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Always wear shoes when moving heavy items.

If you feel it is just too heavy and you cannot find someone to help you, do not move it! It will not be the end of the world to just clean around it. Always keep safety in mind.

Be safe while on ladders and step stools

When you are using ladders and step stools, use extreme caution. A good rule of thumb is that your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder. Also, have someone available to hold the ladder steady for you if possible. Make sure before you step on the rungs that they are dry and you are wearing non-skid shoes.

Be careful when walking on wet surfaces

Everyone knows how easy it is to slip on a wet floor. Block access to wet floors to ensure no one falls.

Keep stairs, landings, and other walkways clear of boxes, bags and other clutter

Spring cleaning is a great time to unclutter your home. However, you need to make sure all boxes and bags of stuff you are getting rid of do not cause a tripping hazard.

Always follow cleaning product label safety instructions and recommendations

Cleaning supplies can create nasty fumes. Make sure you get fresh air by opening windows, turning on the exhaust fan or placing a fan in the room. Do not mix common household cleaners - they can create toxic fumes when combined. You should also wear rubber gloves when cleaning.