We all know that most of us will get an extra hour of sleep this weekend (barring those in states that don’t do the whole, Daylight Savings Time thing.) This is what we think of as the one benefit to changing our clocks and “falling back.” But there are other benefits to this day that comes once a year. It gives us an opportunity to double-check safety measures and perform regular maintenance at home – all steps we should take to keep our families safe and healthy. Here are a few things you can do with that extra hour you’ll get between Saturday and Sunday.
- Put new batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: Making sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order can be the difference between life and death. According to the National Fire Protection Association, having working smoke alarms can increase your chances of survival by 50%. In case of a house fire, smoke spreads very quickly, and alarms can give you time to escape. It’s recommended that you change these batteries every six months.
- Schedule a furnace check-up: All American Heating can help ensure that your furnace is in top working order to keep you and your loved ones warm this winter. This is also a good time to change your air filter.
- Have your chimney checked and cleaned: According to the Chimney Safety Inspection Institute, chimneys should be checked on an annual basis to make sure there are no obstructions or soot build-up that can be dangerous and start out-of-control fires in your home.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans: Switch your ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise. This change in direction helps pull down the warm air trapped near the ceiling, which can help reduce heating costs.
- Drain your water heater: It’s a good idea to drain one quart from your water heater each year to help keep it running smoothly. This is a good time to take care of this simple task. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions.
- Clean your refrigerator coils: Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the coils to remove dust and debris that has accumulated there. Doing this one time a year will help increase your refrigerator’s efficiency and make it last longer.
- Update your emergency kit: change flashlight batteries, refresh band-aids, bottled water, etc., and replace anything you may have used over the year. You don’t want to be caught unprepared if such a need arises.