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Safety tips for spring cleaning

It’s that time of year again – spring cleaning.

As people start cleaning out homes and garages, be careful with potentially hazardous products. The Pocatello fire department has some safety tips for you.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, household cleaning supplies are one of the top five causes of poisonings. Liquids that are made from petroleum can be very poisonous and also flammable. These would be things like gasoline, lighter fluid, baby oil or furniture polish. So be careful where they are stored and how they are used.

Spring cleaning can be a great time to get rid of unnecessary clutter, but the fire department said it’s also a great time to make sure your home is in working order. Make sure that smoke detectors are working and that your home is fire-wise and protected from potential wildfires.

However, the department said there are some things that could go wrong if you aren’t careful.

“A lot of people store chemicals in their garage,” said Kim Stouse, community education specialist with the fire department. “What we don’t want you to do is to mix them all into one jug and then thrown them into your waste can because those go to the landfill and get down into our water supply.”

Stouse said if you need to get rid of chemicals, call the Bannock County Landfill to find out what their hazardous waste days are. On those days, you can take chemicals down to be properly disposed of. The landfill can be contacted at 208-236-0607.

Chemicals and different cleaners also shouldn’t be mixed when using them. They can create poisonous gases when mixed together. If inhaled, those gases could cause lung problems or worse.

Another thing to remember with cleaning products is to keep them out of reach of children. Kids can easily dump them in their eyes, on their skin or swallow it. So keep them in a safe spot away from where a child could get them.

One more tip Stouse recommends for inside the home is make sure what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle. Don’t have cleaning products anywhere near food.

“Keeping them in their original containers is the best advice,” Stouse said. “You never want to put something ina food container that you might use down the road, even if you think you can clean it or put in the dishwasher.”

Stouse also said when cleaning, make sure that your lint compartment in your dryers are cleaned often. Lint can build up quickly and could be fire hazard. Also any loose wires or cords could catch and spark. So make sure things that are potential fire hazards are well-maintained.

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