Twice a year, when Daylight Saving Time begins or ends, make it a habit to not only change your clocks, but do a few other semi-annual tasks that will improve safety in your home…
Do these things every 6 months when you reset your clocks:
Check and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Replace any smoke alarms older than ten years. Replace any CO alarms older than five years. Sensors in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms degrade and lose effectiveness over time through environmental contamination and age. Prepare a disaster supply kit for your house (water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets).
Once you’ve created your home disaster kit, use the semi-annual time change to check its contents (including testing/replacing flashlight batteries). Having a separate duffel/gear bag clearly marked “Cold Gear” specifically for your cold weather emergency gear makes it easy to add or take out of the car, seasonally. A COLD winter is coming! Make a “winter car-emergency kit” now and put your vehicle! (Don’t know what to include? Do an Internet search for “car emergency kit” and you’ll find lots of ideas!)
In cold weather, even a very minor car problem or flat tire can be deadly serious, or at the very least, miserable to deal with, unless you’re well prepared. Check home and outbuilding storage areas for hazardous materials. Discard (properly, please) any which are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition. Move any which are within reach of kids or pets. Check and discard expired medications – those dates really DO have meaning – some very common over-the-counter medications can cause serious problems due to change through aging.
Remember to check the AGE of your detectors! Not only should you to check/change batteries in alarms, but also check the age of the alarms and replace older alarms.
Here are the Daylight Saving time-change dates for the next few years…
- 2014 March 9 & November 2
- 2015 March 8 & November 1
- 2016 March 13 & November 6
- 2017 March 12 & November 5
- 2018 March 11 & November 4
- 2019 March 10 & November 3
- 2020 March 8 & November 1
- 2021 March 14 & November 7
- 2022 March 13 & November 6
- 2023 March 12 & November 5
*Daylight Saving Time Begins & Ends at 2 a.m. on these dates
In addition to smoke detectors and CO detectors, the semi-annual time change is also a great time to change ALL the batteries in the house – clocks, controls with backup timers (thermostats, irrigation, outdoor lighting, water conditioners), phone accessories, flashlights, and portable electronics… And remember to discard the used batteries properly.