Springtime In The Rockies

Spring has sprung and warm weather activities are just around the corner if you live in the northern hemisphere.  Some people are so happy to see t-shirt season return that they embrace it with careless abandon.  But most people know that it’s best to go through their springtime safety checklist first.

First off, check your cleaning supplies closet for containers that may have been damaged over the winter months.  If you find any leaking containers, dispose of them at the local hazardous waste distribution centre.  Taking these items to the dump, flushing them down the toilet, letting them get into the drainage system, et al endangers us all as water treatment plants are unable to filter those chemicals out of the water. 

Once that’s been done, you can move on to the other items on your checklist.

With the help of a sturdy ladder, a friend to spot you while you’re on the ladder and a pair of heavy gloves, clean your eavestroughs thoroughly.  You never know what you’re going to encounter cleaning those eavestroughs and it’s better to be safe than spending the afternoon in the ER, waiting to get a tetanus shot and stitches.

If you have fuel and other combustibles outside, keep them safe in a well-ventilated shed or detached garage.  Keep them away from heat sources including direct sunlight.   It never ceases to amaze me how some people tend to forget that direct sunlight is a heat source.

Clean and check your BBQ.  Thoroughly clean all the burner pots and tubes, and make sure there’s no grease left behind from last season’s BBQ season. Check all the hoses for leaks and cracks.  You don’t want your summer to start off with a literal *bang* the first time you fire up the BBQ to make hotdogs for the kids.

Rake up all the dead grass and winter surprises from your frontyard and backyard.   Not only will it allow your grass to start growing in lush and green, it will help you identify problems and problems areas on your property.

Make sure all the equipment in your backyard is in safe working condition for everyone.  Whether it’s a slide, swings, bikes, skateboards, trampolines or other items, it’s always better to be safe than waiting in ER for stitches or a cast.

Check all the electrical cords and outlets inside and outside your home.  If you find a worn or damaged electrical cord, replace it immediately.  If you find loose-fitting outlets, contact a licensed electrical contractor to check out any other hidden problems that might co-exist with loose-fitting outlets.

If you have air-conditioning in your home, now’s the time to contact a qualified technician to perform proper maintenance work on your air-conditioning unit.  Don’t wait until that heat wave in July to find out that your air-conditioner needs repairs.

Every year, the fire marshall in your area reminds you to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  It’s great advice you should follow!  Once you’ve installed new batteries, make sure to test your alarms in case there are other problems with your alarms.

If you’re thinking of installing a basketball hoop for the kids or sinking that trampoline into the ground to make it a little safer for the little ones, remember to contact your local utility services and city departments so they can come out and mark where their utility lines lie.  There’s nothing worse than hitting and damaging a utility pipeline.  And you might just wind up sitting in ER waiting for medical attention if you aren’t aware where those lines are hidden underground.

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