Daylight saving time officially begins this weekend on Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. Although your phones and computers will automatically “advance” an hour earlier, you will still need to check your ovens, microwaves, and most importantly, smoke detectors – at least according to security experts.
Twice a year, we change our clocks also serve as a precious reminder to change the batteries of our fire alarms. Only 57% of Americans have followed best practices and have done so in the past six months, according to a survey of more than 1,000 people by ServiceMaster Restore.
When you walk home Sunday, you will want to replace the batteries in each detector, advises disaster recovery expert Peter Duncanson. Bonus: doing it now will also prevent a deliberately annoying “tweet” from being recalled later.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Lift, turn or remove the cover. (In some cases, the entire alarm will sound from a base.)
- Replace the battery with a brand new one. Most machines use 9-volt batteries.
- Close and snap the detector in place.
- Press the test button to make sure it works. You should hear a beep or a beep.
Also, keep an eye on the date of manufacture engraved on the device. Smoke detectors lose their effectiveness after 10 years and must be replaced just like carbon monoxide detectors. Upgrade the new lithium battery smoke detectors and you won’t have to worry about replacing the batteries for a decade.
To keep your home as safe as possible, use interconnected smoke detectors so that, when one sounds, they will all ring. At the very least make sure you have smoke alarms installed inside each bedroom, outside each bedroom and on each floor of the house (including the basement), recommends the National Fire Protection Association.
Monitoring your home security is now more important than ever. Average time to escape a domestic fire has been reduced from 17 minutes to three minutes or less in recent decades due to the increased use of synthetics in the construction of furniture and homes, according to the UL safety organization.
Also, don’t forget to inspect your fire extinguisher for signs of corrosion, missing pins and / or changes in the pressure gauge. It’s always a good idea to have one on hand – especially when you’re trying to roast a gigantic frozen ham for Easter. Daylight Saving Day
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