Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday. A lot of us look forward to the extra hour of sleep. However, there are other things to consider outside of the additional sleep. This is a good time of year to think about safety checks around the home. Whether you do this safety check in the spring or in the fall, it is a great annual reminder.
The National Safety Council (NSC) encourages us to check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and the family safety plan:
Three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Test your smoke alarms every month and replace the battery at least once a year. If the alarm makes a "chirping" sound, replace it immediately.
Smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of a home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, less than 12 inches from the ceiling and away from windows, doors and ducts.
Smoke alarms can be interconnected wirelessly. That means, when one sounds, they all sound. A Consumer Product Safety Commission survey found this is the best way to notify everyone in a home if there is a fire. Be sure to purchase smoke alarms with the label of a reputable testing agency, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Anything that burns fuel can potentially become a source of carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that can kill. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home. The safety tips for CO detectors mirror those of smoke alarms: change the batteries, test them and interconnect them, if possible.
Also, make sure vents for your gas appliances (fireplace, dryer, stove and furnace) are free and clear of snow or debris.
Family Emergency Plan
The National Safety Council recommends every family have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. Spring is a great time to review that plan with family members.
Have a home and car emergency kit. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says an emergency kit should include one gallon of water per day for each person, at least a three-day supply of food, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, filter mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape, and medicines. Visit the FEMA website for a complete list.
The emergency plan also should include:
A communications plan to outline how your family members will contact one another and where to meet if it's safe to go outside
A shelter-in-place plan if outside air is contaminated; FEMA recommends sealing windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting
A getaway plan including various routes and destinations in different directions
Also, make sure your first aid kit is updated.
Get Rid of Unwanted Medicines
NSC recommends you take unwanted or expired medicines to a prescription drop box or take-back event near you. NSC offers free Stericycle Seal & Send envelopes, so you can send your unwanted medication to be safely destroyed.
Getting the Urge to Clean?
With the warm weather comes a desire to shine and polish your home. But when warning labels are ignored or chemicals fall into the wrong hands, disaster can occur. Learn what you can do to keep you family safe around poisons in the home.
With warmer temperatures arriving, it's important to practice window safety - especially in homes with young children. Find more information about window safety.
One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!