On Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 a.m., the clocks will fall back one hour. While this means that you will get an extra hour of sleep that night, there are a few things besides your clocks to tend to when you wake up in the morning.
This is the perfect time to also check your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. It’s recommended that homeowners check these alarms monthly and replace their batteries at least twice a year. An easy way to remember when to change the batteries is to set a routine of changing them in the spring and fall when you are updating your clocks.
You should have a smoke alarm installed in every room of your home where people sleep. You also should have an alarm in every hallway, in the kitchen, laundry room, and in your basement and garage. Check local codes to see if there are other areas of the home where the alarms should be installed.
When testing your smoke alarm this fall, also be sure to swap out the batteries with fresh ones. Even if you think the batteries in the alarm are still functional, make sure that you have new ones in place so the alarm will work should you need it. Press the test button on the alarm after you’ve changed the batteries to make sure it’s functional. If there is an issue, replace the alarm(s) as soon as possible.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can kill you. CO detectors in your home can alarm you whenever dangerous quantities of this gas are present. These sensors should be installed on every level of your home.
If your alarm runs on batteries, replace them with fresh ones and then test the unit. If your detector is installed with electrical wiring, simply press the test button on the alarm to make sure it’s functioning properly.
While you’re updating your clocks and testing your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s also a great time for your family to prepare and practice an emergency plan in case of a fire.
Be sure that all family members can identify two ways out of each room of the home. Also, stress that once you are out of the house, stay out of the house! Pick a safe location where all family members should meet during an emergency, such as at a tree far from the home.
Designate someone in your family to be the person who calls 911. Work through this plan until everyone is comfortable with it.
As you can see, in addition to updating your clocks this weekend, you have several other things on your to-do list that you need to take care of!