Are You Ready for the Holidays / Holiday Cleaning and Safety Tips
The holidays are almost here and everyone is neck-deep in preparations. It’s important for your home to be as safe as it is festive for your family and friends. The American Academy of Pediatrics has these suggestions to protect your loved ones.
- “Fire salts” make the flames in the fireplace pretty, but they contain heavy metals that cause gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Don’t let children toss a handful onto the fire because it’s too easy for them to forget to wash up, or think the salts are candy.
- Make sure that young children ride in appropriate car seats and everyone else uses seat belts. Drivers should never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Food that requires refrigeration should never be left out more than two hours.
- Keep poisonous plants, such as mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children.
- Turn off all lights before going to bed or leaving the house. One short is all it takes to start a fire.
Guests won’t notice that your home is safe, but they’ll notice that it’s clean. The American Cleaning Institute offers these tips on making your home sparkle like a star.
- Stash supplies where you need them. Messes disappear faster if you don’t have to run downstairs to grab spray cleaner and paper towels. Keep cleaning wipes in every bathroom, along with glass cleaning wipes. Microfiber towels near TVs will take care of fingerprints.
- Put mats or throw rugs at all entrances, along with a boot tray. These will keep dirt, water and muck from being tracked everywhere.
- Your pets may have the run of the furniture the rest of the year, but some guests might not like wearing that kind of fur. Lint brushes are great, as is packing tape wrapped around your hand, sticky side out.
- Clean out a closet now so you’re not jamming guests’ coats into an already full space. This is a great time to see what still fits and what you haven’t worn in a while.
- Cleaning the fireplace can make another mess of its own. Anything machine washable should be washed in powdered detergent and the hottest water that’s safe for the material. For stubborn stains, soak items overnight using a presoak laundry product.
If that soot and smoke gets out of control and all over the room, call the experts at ServiceMaster National Capital Restoration in Alexandria right away. It’s vital to take action immediately to limit the damage to your home. Their professionals are available 24/7 to restore order to commercial and residential properties in northern Virginia, Washington DC, and southern Maryland. They have a wide variety of techniques at their disposal to deal with that horrible smoky smell.
According to Homeadvisor.com, the average cost to repair fire and smoke damage was $4,120.