Daylight Saving Time is about more than just changing your clocks. Daylight Saving Time means it’s also time for a seasonal safety check. As you circle the house, setting clocks, make time to add these tasks to your daylight savings to-do list to keep your families safer and possibly save lives:
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Those alarms save lives – but only if they work. Safety experts recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries* twice a year – so celebrate Time Change Sunday with fresh batteries all around.
Also remember to check the age of your detectors. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that consumers replace smoke alarms every ten years and replace carbon monoxide (CO) alarms every five years.
It’s also a good idea to occasionally vacuum away dust and cobwebs in the area around your detector to keep it working properly.
- Make sure flashlights and weather radios also have fresh batteries*.
- Check your fire extinguishers. A fire extinguisher is something most people don’t think about until they need one. And while a fire extinguisher can help you put out many small home fires, you’ll find that it’s of little value if it hasn’t’ been kept in operating condition. While you’re at it. Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher, by reviewing the PASS Method.
- Inspect your car’s tires and check the tire pressure on a regular basis.Cold temperatures can cause your tires to lose air pressure of more than one pound per month. Driving with underinflated tires can cause damage to your tire and decrease vehicle handling. Six tips for keeping your tires in shape so you can be safe.
- Inspect your home keyless entry system. Now is a great time to inspect the system and consider changing the batteries so you don’t get locked out of your home.
- Make sure your first-aid and emergency kits are stocked and ready to go.
- Make sure you have all of the safety apps downloaded to your phone. American Red Cross safety apps.
- Go over your emergency plan with your family. If an emergency strikes, will your family know what to do? Review your family’s emergency plan, or create one for the first time. Hold a meeting with family members to explain what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.
Learn more about what your family needs to know in case of disaster or emergency:
- Family Emergency Preparednessfrom RedCross.org
- Are You Ready? A Guide For Citizen Preparednessfrom FEMA.org (.PDF format)
- This free printable from Ready.gov makes it easy to develop a plan in case of emergencies:Printable Family Emergency Plan
*Energy savings hint: don’t toss the replaced batteries just yet. While they’re likely not fully charged, replaced batteries can still do duty in children’s toys, media players or electronic devices. Squeeze the last drop of power out of them before you recycle!