Tag Archives: kitchen

Spring Cleaning Your Home

Spring Cleaning for National Cleaning Week

It’s National Cleaning Week and the perfect time for spring cleaning your life. And we can help!

Martha Stewart’s comprehensive spring-cleaning checklist can help you make a plan.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

 

Not a deep-cleaner? This Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide can help you clean things you’ve never considered.

Deep-Cleaning Done Right

 

The kitchen is one place that needs lots of attention. These ideas can help you tackle it.

Hate cleaning? These spring-cleaning shortcuts can help speed up the process.

Speed Spring Cleaning Up

 

If doing a little a day will keep you motivated, this 30 days of spring cleaning guide is right for you.

A Little Cleaning Each Day

 

You might not think of cleaning outside your house, but it’s the perfect time before the weather heats up.

Tidying Outdoors

 

Take the time to clean things you’ve never thought of for a sparkling house.

Spring Clean Everything

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Always Protected from Fire

Protect Yourself by Practicing Home Fire Safety

The U.S. Fire Administration says more than 360,000 fires destroyed homes in the United States in 2010. These fires caused 2,555 deaths and more than 13,000 injuries. Clearly, we should take house fires seriously. Taking small steps can help you stay safe.

One of the most important things you can do is make sure you have working smoke alarms in all major rooms of your home. Most of all, be sure you have one near your bedroom. Change the batteries twice a year, or ask someone to help you change them.

You should also check for possible fire starters. Make sure extension cords are not frayed, and don’t plug too many things into one outlet. In the kitchen, unplug small appliances, like your toaster, when you are not using them. Make sure the hood of your stove is clean and doesn’t have grease buildup. If you have a fireplace, put a screen up to block stray ashes and clean the chimney once a year.

Accidents can still happen. Make sure you know a couple ways to get out of your home if it catches fire. Make sure your house number is visible from the street. This helps firefighters get to you quickly.

Many fire stations will do a safety check at your home for free. Call your local fire department or senior center for details. And check out the sample fire safety checklist from the Urbana Fire Department.

Fires can happen quickly and be deadly. Keep your home secure, and have a safety plan. Some simple steps can go a long way toward keeping you safe.

Home Fire Safety Checklist

GENERAL

____ Are your address numbers visible from the street to permit ease of identification?
____ Are your smoke detectors in working order, batteries changed twice a year?
____  Do you have an escape plan, meeting place, and do you practice it?

 

 ALL HOUSEHOLD AREAS

____  Do you keep your passageway doors shut to reduce fire spread in the event of fire?
____ Are you using extension cords? Limit their use.
____  Check all electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
____  Check to make sure outlets are not overloaded.
____  Check all windows to make sure they operate smoothly.
____  Do not allow waste paper and combustibles to collect and become a fire hazard.
____  Ashtrays should be provided for all smokers. They should be disposed of properly.
____  Are your household chemicals stored away from children?
____  Are matches and lighters stored out of reach of children?
____  No combustibles should be stored in the attic.

 

LIVING AREA

____  Does your fireplace have a screen and hearth to protect from flying embers?
____  Has your chimney been cleaned? Is it operating properly?

 

KITCHEN AREA

____  Are all combustibles kept away from the cooking area?
____  Is your range hood clean and vented properly?
____  Are all unused small appliances unplugged when not in use?

 

UTILITY AREA

____  Are your heating ducts properly maintained?
____  Are combustibles stored away from the furnace and water heater?
____  Is your furnace filter clean?
____  Are there any oversized fuses in the fuse box?
____  Are your washer and dryer properly grounded?
____  Do you keep your basement door closed to reduce fire spread in the vent of fire?

 

GARAGE/STORAGE AREA

____  Is there a solid core door separating your garage from the house?
____  Are all flammable liquids stored in the proper containers?
____  Is the gasoline mower properly stored away from ignition sources?

 

OUTSIDE AREA

____  Are there any combustible materials close to the house?
Keeping Your Kitchen Clean

Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Keeping Your Kitchen Clean

Most of us would like to think we do a pretty good job of keeping our kitchen clean. Basics like washing countertops, sweeping, and mopping the floor might seem like enough, but other things you might not notice can let germs and bacteria hide in your kitchen. These tips can help you keep it spotless.

Clean the Kitchen Sink and Counters

Your dirty dishes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and germs are easily spread to your faucet handles. Kitchen counters can also collect germs from everything that touches or passes over them.

A wet dishcloth isn’t enough, it will just move the bacteria around. Use hot water and soap or an antibacterial cleaner often.

Change Sponges and Dishcloths Every Week

These are crawling with bacteria, and can even contain E. coli.

Between uses, make sure they dry completely to stop bacteria from growing. Sponges should go in an upright holder, and dishcloths should be hung up to dry.

Wash Your Cutting Boards in the Dishwasher

Hand-washing with hot water and soap is not always enough to kill germs. And knives create nicks in the surface, which are the perfect place for bacteria to grow. It’s also a good idea to reserve one cutting board for meat and another for fruits and veggies, so you never accidentally contaminate something you’re going to eat raw.

If you don’t have a dishwasher, pour boiling water over the surface after each use.

Wash Reusable Grocery Bags

These can transport germs from the grocery store, and using the same bags to carry raw meat and veggies over and over again can cause bacteria to grow on the bag’s surface.

Wash these bags often, either by hand or on the gentle cycle in your washing machine.

Keep the Microwave Clean

You might forget about your microwave because you can’t always see its messes, but it can collect bacteria from food that spills or splatters. And its heat can let bacteria grow and spread.

Make sure to scrub the outside, the handles, and buttons, as well as the inside.