November 2006: Don’t Procrastinate When it Comes to Safety!

Procrastination: The act of putting off that which you don’t want to do right now; deferring action to a later time.

Procrastination may mean failing to pay our bills and could result in services being cut off causing a black mark on your credit rating. But more importantly, when it comes to safety, procrastination can lead to more serious consequences such as fire, injury and even death!

Six important safety tips for your home:

1) According to the U.S. National Fire protection Association ( , 70% of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Change smoke detector batteries at least once a year. For that matter, smoke detectors do not last more than a few years, so maybe it’s time to get a new one altogether. Mark it on your calendar and do it!

2) Install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is odourless and almost impossible to detect. A carbon monoxide detector is relatively inexpensive and protects you and your family by monitoring the level of carbon monoxide by beeping if the levels are too high. These units typically contain a backup battery in case of power failure. Simply plug the detector into an outlet in your house (not advisable to use in the furnace room). I have one in my bedroom, and would not live without one!

3) Have your heating and air conditioning unit(s) inspected and cleaned at least TWICE a year, a service most providers offer. I have such an arrangement, and our provider calls me in the spring and again in the fall to perform these inspections and maintenance.

4) Make sure your dryer venting hose is free of lint. Failure to do this can lead to fire! When a pile of clothes is being tumbled dry and the hot air cannot escape because of excess lint blocking the passage, fire can result!! The dryer must be unplugged from the outlet before removing the venting hose for cleaning. Don’t forget about the vent outside the home as this can become clogged with lint. Mice like to build their nests in these vents because they are nice and warm.

5) Check your home for signs of mould. Nowadays, homes are sealed for efficient heating and cooling but to such an extreme that it can be dangerous to your health. Mould can be found around windows, doors, on walls or ceilings. If mould is present, call an expert immediately! Do not try and tackle this on your own as you risk being exposed to a potentially harmful substance which can affect the health of you and your family.

6) Get rid of clutter, as this too can be hazardous to your health. You can trip over it or it can fall on your head! If you have bags and open boxes of stuff, chances are you have lots of dust and bugs! This dust can be especially harmful to individuals with allergies and asthma. Get rid of the stuff. Sort through and put keepsakes in covered bins or china cabinets. Things should be in closets or drawers and not in cardboard boxes and shopping bags!

Procrastination isn’t just putting off things that don’t matter like getting to that pile of junk mail! Sometimes procrastinating can put your family and your home in jeopardy! Grab your calendar now and commit to doing all of the above.

Some of the above functions can be performed by the homeowner, such as changing batteries in your smoke detector. Time to Get Organized recommends, however that you consult an expert before touching any of your appliances. We do not provide technical advice.