Daylight Savings happened yesterday and because you will already be going through each room of your house to update your clocks, Daylight Savings is an excellent time to take care of those tasks that need to be done just twice a year. Here’s a few examples:
1. CHECK YOUR FIRE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS. You should have at least one fire alarm for each room of the house and one carbon monoxide detector for each floor of the house. Remove any dust that’s accumulated on the alarm–dust can impede the alarm’s ability to detect danger. Once a year, you will need to replace the batteries in your alarms, so choose either the spring or fall time change as your battery change day as well.
2. REMIND FAMILY MEMBERS ABOUT YOUR EMERGENCY PLANS: Checking your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is a great conversation starter to talk with family members about what you will do in an emergency. Talk with young children about fire safety–you can even run a practice drill. And take a few moments with the whole family to remind them where you would meet if you all had to leave the house suddenly.
3. UPDATE YOUR EMERGENCY KIT. Hopefully your emergency kit is stocked with a three-day supply of water and a few days’ worth of food. Use daylight savings time as a reminder to cycle out the stored food with fresh replacements. You sure don’t want to be stuck in a tornado shelter eating expired tuna.
4. GO THROUGH YOUR PANTRY. If you have foods that have been sitting on the shelf, untouched, for six months, resolve to (1) use it up at the next meal, (2) donate it to the local food bank (assuming it’s unexpired), or (3) throw it out (if it’s past its prime).
5. CHECK LAMPS FOR BURNT BULBS. Carry a light bulb or two with you as you go through the house, and replace any bulbs that have gone out. Sometimes when a lighting unit has multiple bulbs, it can be difficult to tell when one bulb has gone out.
6. PREP FOR COLD AND ALLERGY SEASONS. Take a look at your medicine cabinet and make sure you have a few basics for colds, flu and allergies. Before flu season, it’s a good idea to have a package of saltines and all natural ginger ale (many cheaper ginger ale’s use ginger ale flavoring, with none of the actual root to calm your stomach) on hand. That way you can have all your comfort items on hand before you feel lousy!