By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
This Sunday, March 10, is Daylight Saving Time. Setting the clock forward means it’s not just time to check the clock, but for a spring clean safety check. As you make your “hot lap” around the home, setting clocks ahead, why not take a little extra time for a short safety checklist?
Help Spring your home into being safe and organized by:
Change the clocks, change the batteries. We do ask you to do this in the fall, however, you may check again. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Firefighters recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year, so spring forward Sunday with fresh batteries all around.
Helpful hint: While they’re likely not fully charged, replaced batteries can still do duty in toys, media players or electronic devices. Get the last drop of juice out of them before you recycle!
How’s that home fire extinguisher? Has it gone past the expiration date? This is a good time to check your fire extinguisher.
Since you’ll have that stepladder out checking smoke detector batteries and clocks, double up on safety by checking for light bulbs and fixtures. Have you considered replacing conventional bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LCD bulbs? Rumor has it, replacing standard bulbs with energy-efficient ones saves money. If you are not able to safely use a step ladder, contact a family member, friend or perhaps contacting your local fire department and ask for assistance.
Next, check the first-aid kit. It’s a good time to check your first aid kit and replace or upgrade any missing supplies.
Finally, this is a good time to review your family emergency plan. 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.
How about your earthquake preparedness supplies? Make sure you have them and they are up to date.
Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post an emergency information page near the phone.
Your local fire department will be glad to help you with any of the above.