The dreaded loss of an hour of sleep is upon us.... It's a good bet that more of us are either late to church or miss it entirely on this Sunday than any other day of the year. With that loss of an hour comes the hopeful thoughts of Spring. Flowers and trees in bloom, warmer weather, "street-light" curfew getting later (much to the delight of children everywhere).
It is also a time to check on the safety of our homes. Pretty sure most Americans know the slogan "Change your clocks, Change your batteries". A reminder twice a year to check the batteries in our smoke detectors. But just "checking" them isn't enough and it's not just smoke detectors that need attention.
1. Don't just check your smoke detectors. Check your Carbon Monoxide(CO) Detectors as well. The best thing to do is just go ahead and replace the batteries, not just check that they are working at that moment. Making sure they are functioning should be done often. An accidental piece of burnt toast usually does this for us in our home.
2. Smoke Detectors should be replaced every 10 years and CO detectors ever 5 years. The sensors tend to degrade over time due to environmental contamination and age.
3. This is also a good time to go through your medicine cabinet and discard any expired medications. That date DOES matter! Remember to discard in a safe place out of the reach of children and animals. If your dog is a trash junky, might not want to toss the old bottles there.
4. Check your disaster kits in your home and cars. Just how old is that pack of extra batteries. Or have they all mysteriously disappeared. A recent power outage at our home revealed just about all the emergency batteries had found their way into remotes, video game controllers etc...
5. Take a walk around the inside and outside of your home. Look for any hazardous materials, objects, etc. With the warmer weather ahead, no more "its too cold" excuses.
A great idea is to involve the entire family. Its an easy way to teach our children the importance of checking and maintaining these things. A practice they will carry with them into adulthood.
Remember, most states have standard requirements as to how many and where detectors should be located in your home. If you are unsure, check with your local fire department. They are usually more than willing to provide that information. Many have programs where they will come out to your home and make sure you have the detectors in the right place.
Here are a few websites if you would like more information:
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