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.
- 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).
- 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!)
It's a good idea to carry a car-emergency kit in your car year-round, but be sure to add cold-weather gear to your general car-emergency kit each fall. (Having a separate duffle/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.)
Like a Boy Scout, "Be Prepared!"
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 Discard (properly, please) any which are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition.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.