With the coming of spring, many of us will be taking advantage of the burst of energy we feel from the warmer weather to do some cleaning.
Did you know that by doing so, you will be making your home safer?
Things that clutter our homes, basements, garages and storage areas can also serve as fuel for a fire, should one ever occur.
Trash, boxes, clothing and other combustibles are dangerous to have around if there is a fire because they can increase the speed at which a fire spreads, create a path for it to follow, and even make escape more difficult.
Obstacles also make rescues and firefighting more challenging.
To avoid these dangerous situations, clean out storage areas such as garages, attics, closets, sheds and basements on a regular basis.
Oily rags such as those saturated with furniture polish, paint thinners, and wood stain, can ignite without a heat source because they produce their own heat.
Store these in a closed, metal container or "harden" them by hanging them outside to dry and then discard them.
In addition to cleaning up the combustible clutter, inventory your home for paint, gasoline, anti-freeze, herbicides, pesticides, propane cylinders, batteries, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers, and any other hazardous materials you no longer need.
Take advantage of Dublin's annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Saturday, April 20, at Ashland Inc.
This collection is sponsored by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio and gives homeowners a convenient and free option to properly dispose of their hazardous waste so it doesn't end up in the landfill.
The collection will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ashland Inc., 5200 Blazer Parkway.
Visit SWACO's website at swaco.org or call 614-871-5100 for more information.
Washington Township Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Perkins submitted the Smoke Signals column.