Whether springing forward or falling back, Daylight Saving Time is the perfect opportunity for a home safety seasonal checkup. Here’s a quick checklist.
Check and Replace
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
Change batteries twice a year. Replace smoke detectors every 10 years, and CO detectors every five years.
Light Bulbs (Inside + Outside)
Consider updating to energy saving light bulbs, for an estimated savings of $30+ over each bulb’s lifetime.
Most people change their filters each season, when they know the equipment is going to be working hardest.
Dryer Filter and Hoses
Dryer fires can occur as a result of blocked dryer exhaust ducts. Clean dryer hoses each year, inspect the vent and hose for blockages every six months.
Check the pressure gauge, and verify the locking pin is intact.
Reset and Update
Home Alarm Systems
Make sure the correct Daylight Saving Time dates are programmed into your alarm system’s control panel. Some systems will automatically adjust, but others need to be manually programmed. Check with your home security company to determine the needs of your system.
Don’t miss your favorite shows! Make sure your DVR is set correctly and that changes will occur on the proper day and time.
Reverse the direction of any ceiling fans: clockwise in winter, so air blows up, and counterclockwise in summer, so air blows down.
It’s best to change your password at least every 90 days to protect against viruses and hackers. Use passwords that are hard to guess.
Prepare and Review
Home Insurance Policy
Insurance needs can change yearly as you expand or remodel your home, or with general wear and tear. Reevaluate your policy to ensure it reflects your current status.
Car Emergency Kit
Include blankets, jumper cables, flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, tire inflator, and a backup power supply for your cell phone.
Disaster Preparedness Kit
Include water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets, first-aid kit, and a portable radio. Once you’ve created the kit, use the semi-annual time change to check and restock contents.
Family Emergency Plan
Review/update your 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. And post an emergency info page near the phones.
And Travel Carefully…
The National Safety Council says pedestrians are three times more likely to be struck and killed by cars in the days following the end of Daylight Savings Time. Pay extra attention to your surroundings while walking, shopping, and driving, as darkness increases around the time of afternoon rush hour.