Spring is the perfect time to move ahead in more than one way…not only is it time to set your clocks ahead one hour, it’s also a great opportunity to take care of some household safety checks and balances that will serve your family well over the next few months.
Change the Clocks, Change the Batteries
Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors do a great job of keeping your family safe – but only if the batteries are fresh and ready to go. Since most home safety experts suggest changing the batteries in these essential devices every six months, the twice yearly time change is an easy reminder that this time has come around again.
Keep in mind that most of the time, these batteries aren’t completely finished – they still have some life in them! Give them a second go-round in children’s toys, remotes, spin toothbrushes or other small household appliances.
You Light Up My Life
While you have the stepladder out for your battery changes, check your light bulbs and fixtures. Replace any bulbs that may be out or those that haven’t been replaced in a good long while. If you haven’t made the switch to more energy efficient LCD or compact fluorescent bulbs, now is a great time to consider it!
First Aid Update
Longer days mean more time spent outside, with more cuts, scrapes and bruises to show for it. Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked with all the essentials you’ll need for quick fixes and cleanups. Also check your medicine cabinets for expired medications, both over the counter and prescription. Do not dispose of them in your trash cans or flush them down the toilet. Instead, visit the DEA’s website for information on a safe disposal location near you.
Review Your Emergency Lists
Take a few minutes to check your emergency information page near the phone. Make sure phone numbers, addresses and contact information are up to date and correct. It’s also a good idea to go over your emergency plans with your family, so that you know everyone is ready in case of a fire, weather disaster or other unfortunate turn of event.
Be a Dust Buster
Spring is one of the best times to tackle dusty jobs that once done, will allow parts of your home to function more efficiently. Check your dryer vent pipes and ducts for trapped lint which can lead to fires. Your vacuum hose is a great tool for this, and it can also be used to clean the coils in the back of your refrigerator. Clean or replace the filters in your heating and cooling units, the ventilation filters above your stove and any water filters you may have. While you’re at it, it’s a great idea to change the filters or bags in the vacuum as well!
Lovin’ the Oven
Another possible source of household fires is a dirty oven. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, get out your rubber gloves, open all the windows, and get to it!
Get Ready for Bed
Give your sanctuary a good once-over; the annual “spring ahead” time change is notorious for disrupting sleep schedules and leaving you and your family tired and irritable. Give everyone’s pillows a thorough wash and change the bedding from the bottom up. While you have everything off the mattress, flip it over to prolong its life and give you an improved sleeping surface. If you have a pillowtop or memory foam mattress, put the foot of the mattress at the head for the next six months instead of flipping it.
Because so many people experience sleep deprivation during this time, focus on improving your chances of restful sleep by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool. Avoid using the TV, your cell phone or tablets before bed. Keep the temperature in the room on the cool side and try not to eat, consume alcohol or caffeine right before bedtime.
Once you’re set to go, you can spring ahead to longer days, warmer weather and outdoor fun – knowing you and your family are safe and ready for the season!