Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday as everyone “falls back” and clocks are set back one hour. This is also a great time to check the following items:
Smoke detectors- Check and replace batteries if needed and make sure the devices around the house are working properly. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that about 16 million homes in the country have smoke alarms that do not work. In most cases, the batteries are dead or missing. Nearly 2,700 people die and more than 15,000 are injured each year because of fires that started in their homes.
Carbon monoxide detectors- Make sure there are carbon monoxide detectors in the house and they are working. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S., with more than 20,000 people visiting the emergency room and nearly 500 killed each year from overexposure to the gas. All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have carbon monoxide detectors on every level including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Any dwelling that required a building permit on or after Feb. 1, 2011 are required to have carbon monoxide detectors directly wired to the electrical service with a backup battery. Other existing buildings can use stand-alone battery-powered detectors.
Emergency kits- Everyone should have a basic emergency kit in their home with supplies such as food and water to last them and their family for at least three days. Other items like a battery-powered or crank radio, flashlights and first aid kit should also be included. Daylight Savings Time is a perfect time to get a kit. If there’s already a kit in the house, check it to make sure food and other items are not near or past their expiration dates.
For more tips on how to prepare for emergencies, log on to readywisconsin.wi.gov. The site features information on how to get a kit and make a plan when disaster strikes.