Make sure your home is prepared to “spring forward” into daylight savings time on Sunday, March 13th. In addition to changing your clocks, here are some suggestions that you may have heard of or considered before… but with some twists:
- SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS are one of the most important safety features in your home. Current code requirements include smoke detectors in hallways on every level of your home plus one in every bedroom. Additionally, one carbon monoxide detector is required on every level. Instead of just changing the batteries in your old detectors, you might consider upgrading to detectors with built-in 10-year life span batteries, especially for those tall ceiling locations that require handyman assistance. Also, combination smoke/CO detectors are a good option for hallways.
- CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTER. This will ensure maximum efficiency when you switch from heat to A/C as temperatures rise. Spring would also be a good time to vacuum the inside of your furnace as well as the grills or coils on refrigerators, ice makers, and around your water heater.
- TURN OFF YOUR WATER SUPPLY VALVES. Mineral build-up can “freeze” the supply valves for your toilets, sinks, and laundry. This is of concern if you need to turn off the water supply, especially in an emergency. The twice-a-year movement will help keep them free. If your valves feel as if they are already “frozen,” contact a plumber or handyman and have them replaced with “quarter-turn” valves which are less prone to have problems.
- EMERGENCY KITS ARE A MUST. As we have witnessed, earthquakes, fires, floods, and winds, can create power outages and dangerous situations… even auto accidents, for which we should prepare. Check your home and auto kits to ensure you have proper first aid supplies, flashlights/extra batteries, thermal blankets, and more. Replace your emergency water supply as well. Also, take time to have a family meeting to review your FAMILY EVACUATION AND SEPARATION PLAN. Roll play with children EXACTLY what they are to do and who to call.
Here are a few more suggestions that are less about safety than general updating:
- Go through your pantry and toss outdated products.
- Go through your medicine cabinet and toss outdated medications and medicine.
- Evaluate your sunscreen inventory. Out-of-date products may not be an effective protection for sensitive young skin.
- Clean out your gutters and when you’re on the ladder, make a visual inspection of your roof to check for any updates or repairs that you might need.
With these chores accomplished, you can now relax into the spring and summer seasons!