The tradition of “spring cleaning” became commonplace in the Western world largely because the springtime was finally warm enough to open windows and clear out dust, soot, and dirt without the intrusion of summertime insects. However, it’s often suggested that the tradition of “spring cleaning” may actually date much further back to the ancient Iranian practice of Khāne-takānī, or “shaking the house.” “Shaking the house” is still widely practiced and is believed to serve as both a welcoming sign to ancestral spirits and a way to cleanse the home as a method of warding off more malicious entities. (Plus, who doesn’t like the look of a spotless house?)
You may have spent a portion of the last year largely homebound. If so, your house likely requires a stronger “shaking” than usual. As the winter thaws and you look to your own list of spring cleaning activities, consider adding a few maintenance items to help you protect against your own unwanted visitors—intruders, fire threats, and water leaks. By completing a few simple tasks, you can make your house both cleaner and safer and set your home and family up for better protection in the year to come.
1) Sump pump maintenance
Sump pump problems are the cause of many flooding incidents caused by the proverbial “April showers” of the spring months. Your sump pump is one of the few things standing between you and a flooded basement, so it’s important to inspect them properly before something goes wrong. Call a professional plumber to have the sump pump and pipes checked if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself. For added protection, EPS Security offers a sensor that connects to your home security system and detects water leaks and sets off an immediate alarm.
2) Clean dryer vents and hoses
While you are washing your heavy blankets and soft sheets to put away for the summer, take a quick look at your dryer vents and hoses. Go outside and inspect the exhaust vent on the exterior of your house by smelling for clean laundry. If you don’t smell fresh linens, then your dryer might be blocked with lint and needs to be cleaned. Build up in the dryer hose, and vent duct can reduce airflow, backing up the exhaust and creating a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These clothes dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property loss. Unsurprisingly, 34% of these fires are caused by the failure to clean dryer vents. Having smoke detectors in your house is required by fire code but having EPS-monitored smoke detectors can alert you to fires that occur when you’re not home or automatically dispatch emergency services if a fire alarm signal is received by our monitoring center.
3) Swap out smoke detector/carbon monoxide batteries
Speaking of house fires, spring cleaning is an excellent time to check and switch out your smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries. The US Fire Administration recommends changing out smoke detectors once or twice a year to ensure you don’t get caught flat-footed when a fire starts. Be sure to test every detector in your home for comprehensive life safety protection for you and your family.
4) Replace exterior lights and bulbs
No one likes having to search for house keys in the dark because the porch light is out. From a security perspective, keeping the perimeter of your house well-lit acts as a known deterrent against break-ins. While you’re outside trimming the bushes or digging in the garden, make sure to check that all your outdoor lights withstood the winter and replace those that did not.
While you have your windows and doors open to let the fresh air in, it’s a good time to make sure they slide open easily and lock properly and replace any screens with holes. Having well-maintained windows makes it more difficult for potential intruders to enter your home using them. Installing an EPS-monitored door or window contact is an excellent way to add an extra layer of protection to your home.
6) Throw away expired medicine
Your deep cleaning shouldn’t be limited to vacuuming and dusting. Prescription medicine can expire and should not be used past its listed date. Additionally, the accidental consumption of prescription medication is a leading cause of poisoning in the United States. Be sure to throw away all of your expired medication and keep whatever’s left in a place out of the reach of children and animals.
7) Security system health check-up
The best way to protect from intruders, fire, and environmental threats to your home and family is by purchasing a professionally installed and monitored security alarm system. If you already have one, congratulations! But when was the last time you gave your security system a little TLC? While cleaning around your house, check your security devices and keep a running list of items that require maintenance. Did you break a door contact moving in the new couch? Are you getting low battery notifications on your keypad? When was the last time someone cleaned and focused your camera lenses?
A security system needs to be firing on all cylinders to protect your home and family to its highest potential. If your system needs a little attention, don’t hesitate to call and set up a service appointment with EPS’ highly-trained service technicians. Scheduling repair appointments or routine preventative maintenance can help ensure your system works as well on Day 1000 as it did on Day 1.
If you don’t have a home security system, you’re in the right place! EPS Security has been providing comprehensive protection to Michigan neighborhoods for 65 years. Our skilled engineers and knowledgeable consultants will work with you to engineer a solution that fits your unique needs and specific wishes. Our award-winning Monitoring Center dispatches on alarm signals 24/7/365 so our customer can rest easy knowing their home—and everyone and everything within—is under our watchful eye. Check out EPS Security and discover a custom home security solution 65 years in the making.