Oh my, it has been a weird winter in much of the country! But as the days get longer and warmer, it’s time to shake off those winter blues and do some much-needed spring cleanup. And that means it’s time for a safety review, before everyone starts climbing up on ladders and roofs.
Young or old, we all can get a little crazy with spring fever, but let’s keep some commonsense about us as we start on these repairs. Yes, I know you’re itching to get as much done as possible now that the sun is shining, but it’s safety first, always. So here’s a quick review of things to think about before you get busy doing your sprucing.
Be leery of ladders
The first thing to know about ladders is you need to make sure they are safe and sturdy before you start that vertical ascent! But there are other ways to be safe on ladders too, like making sure the ladder is on a level surface, using the right ladder for the job, and keeping your weight in the center of the ladder. Although this ladder safety list pulled together by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is geared towards using ladders when decorating during the holidays, the tips apply to outdoor use too. Please give it a quick review before you head outside.
Plan for safe paint
Paint makes the personal safety list not because you’re likely to fall, but because the fumes can be dangerous to you, and we need to watch out for the wee ones when we have open paint cans and noxious fumes. This won’t matter as much when you’re out of doors, but inside you definitely want to get low VOC paint to cut down on the fumes. And if you are painting outside, don’t think you’re immune. Be smart about having plenty of ventilation while painting if you’re doing a more enclosed area like under the eaves or the side of the house.
Respect those rooftops
If your spring cleanup includes being on the roof to clear out those gutters or to re-attach that loose shingle, be careful! After the wet weather of winter, your roof might be more slippery than usual, and any time you are up in the air on a slanted surface is a good time to be extra vigilant. This rooftop safety list has very good advice for staying safe, so read through it before climbing that ladder, please! And never, ever go up on your roof to do home repairs when you’re the only one home!
Clean up your cleanup
When you’re done outside, make sure you put everything away, both to eliminate trip hazards but also to keep kids away from potential dangers. For example, maybe you drug the hose across the front walk in order to wash down the house. Put it away so no one trips. When you’re done on the ladder, put it away so kids aren’t tempted to scale the heights of it. Make sure all paint and cleaning materials are safely stored away. And even those sharp pruning shears should be picked up and stored out of reach of curious kids. You know the rule, “If you get it out, put it back”? Let’s use that when we’re done with spring sprucing, just to be on the safe side.
Because we’d always rather be safe than sorry!