The Time Change & Fire Safety

Wwe’re back, with our special “Tax Time.”

And we’re going to have a quick conversation not about taxes – but about the calendar, and safety in your home.

As you know, this weekend all across America, we Spring Forward. That’s right, Sunday at 2am, we turn the clocks ahead to become 3AM. And of course that begins daylight savings time! And it means that yes, Sunday morning we lose one hour of sleep. But hey, at least it happens on the weekend.

But, in a big way, the ritual of changing our clocks has become even more significant, over time. Because public safety officials all across America urge people to use that time change as a reminder, to test their smoke alarms! And to change their batteries, too.

That’s a really wonderful connection. And by now it’s pretty well ingrained in most Americans. And so sometime this weekend millions upon millions of people in homes all across the country, will do just that. They’ll change the batteries in every smoke alarm in the home, then press the test button, and make sure they’re working perfectly.

Of course fire safety is a serious business. And smoke alarms are your best initial defense against injury or death in a fire.

The Red Cross says every year the lives of close to 1000 people could be saved if their homes contained working smoke alarms.

So it’s a great idea to take some time this weekend, as as you’re changing the clocks? Change your smoke alarm batteries, too.

The National Fire Protection Association has some great information about making sure your home is safe. They recommend installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, and outside every bedroom as well. They also recommend alarms on every level of the house.

But they take the practice of testing your alarm to a much higher level, than the conventional approach of checking them when we change the clocks. Because the National Fire Protection Association recommends testing your smoke alarms every single month. Great idea.

Now, about changing the batteries. That really only applies to older smoke alarms. Because almost all of the new smoke alarms that you can buy across the country, are now 10-year smoke alarms. The batteries last an entire decade. You can’t change them! And if the end of 10 years? You toss it, and buy a brand new one. That’s very helpful, because despite that connection between the time change and smoke alarms. People still forget. And having a working smoke detector for the next decade can certainly make a home safer.

Oh and one more thing. Do you have working fire extinguishers in your house?

If so, you might want to check that too to make sure that it’s still good. You know, they don’t last forever. And many of them have a little meter on the top near the trigger that shows you whether they still have life left.
And remember safety experts say: use a portable fire extinguisher to put out small fires only. If you come across a big fire, use the extinguisher to clear a path for you and your family to get out of the house.

So, just a few thoughts about fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire safety, and changing the clocks.

Because as we all spring forward let’s do it safely. Me

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