The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds homeowners that, in addition to being a seasonal ritual, spring cleaning can be the time to make your home safer.

To keep your family and property secure, take the time to check your home and yard for dangerous materials and unsafe conditions. Check each room in your house including the attic, basement, garage, yard, and storage shed.

» Remove all hazards and check and correct things such as:

Frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses, or breakers.
Piles of rubbish, trash and debris.
Remove stacks of paper and magazines; take them to a recycling center.
Check for water leaks, especially near electrical appliances.
Check for good clearances between heating appliances and combustibles.

» Properly store flammable liquids and home chemicals.

Gasoline and cleaning fluids should be well-marked and out of the reach of children and pets. Store in a cool, dry place outside the house.
Clean up work areas. Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches, or other work items away and out of the reach of children.
Inventory all home and yard chemicals, paints and poisons. Store them according to their label. Properly dispose of anything that is expired, leaking, or looks bad; do not throw these items in the trash or down the drain.
Make sure all chemicals are kept under lock and key and out of the reach of children and pets.

» Check fire protection and safety equipment.

Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are in working order.
Check fire extinguishers for proper type and placement.
Make sure all doors and windows open easily for fast escapes.
Make sure your street numbers are posted properly and easily visible.
Make sure you have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio.

» Plan Your Escape.

Sit down with your family and make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.
Make sure you have two ways out of every room. Have a designated meeting place outside the house for the whole family.
Practice the plan.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that a little time spent cleaning up and organizing will do a lot to make your house and property a safer place.