200427AZW5010301.jpgBrittny Luckenbill with daughters Skylar and Mason stand in front of their quarters as they complete some spring cleaning April 28 in Fort Jackson Housing. Luckenbill is the wife of Staff Sgt. Nate Luckenbill a drill sergeant with 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. (Photo by Mr. Ron Lester)

By Robert Timmons                                                                                                                                                                                            Fort Jackson Public Affairs

As the weather gets warmer and spring cleaning kicks into high gear, the Garrison Housing Office and the Installation Safety Office are asking on-post housing residents to take the necessary precautions before starting any cleaning or maintenance project.

While some maintenance must be called in, some can be done by the resident, said Emma Watson, chief of the Garrison Housing Office.

Due to COVID-19 concerns Balfour Beatty Communities is only completing emergency work orders.

Spring cleaning is always a good thing, she said.

Cleaning and preventative maintenance on a will help “your life be less stressful and your home will be more aesthetically pleasing,” Watson added, “your home will be safer for your children, you'll be able to find what you need when you need it.

“You will also be promoting good health and hygiene, and you'll keep dirt and allergens out of your home.”

The Safety Office offered a few tips residents can take to prevent injuries while cleaning and conducting routine maintenance.

“Sometimes in our excitement to finish chores so we can go outside and enjoy the warmth and sun, and in our determination to do the job thoroughly we can forget to clean safely,” said safety specialist Walter “Dale” Austen.

They cautioned through a safety message that even though you might have a lot of work to do to “plan your work carefully – don’t try to do it all at once.”

Even though it isn’t hot and humid yet precautions still must be taken.

It may not feel overly warm but that doesn’t mean you cannot get a hot weather injury and make sure you drink plenty of water. Also, don’t forget the sunblock and wear a hat.

“It’s the common things that get us hurt,” said safety specialist Ron Ross. ”It is the mundane things that we take for granted that can hurt us. “It’s the common things like operating a lawnmower without proper protective gear.”

“We have to be conscious and cautious” while doing any cleaning or maintenance task, he added.

Some other tips he suggests are to watch for items that may block areas, or spilled liquid, causing slips, trips and falls.

They can occur easily when the house is in disarray during this spring cleaning. Housing residents should keep traffic areas clear of buckets, cords, boxes and other obstacles, and clean up spills promptly.

Look over your shoulder before you back up. Many housekeeping accidents happen as a result of tripping over objects or bumping into obstacles when backing up.

Residents are also cautioned to beware of electrical hazards; inspect equipment before use; wear protective clothing; read cleaning labels before starting any cleaning or maintenance project.

Many serious injuries are caused from improperly used ladder. Ladders should be inspected for wear and damage and be secured and placed a solid, even surface. Do not stand on the top few rungs of a ladder. Do not lean away from the ladder because this can cause it to tip over.

For answers to safety questions call the Installation Safety Office at 751-2541.