DES MOINES — As we sprung ahead with our clocks over the weekend, home safety expert Andrew Beckett says it’s the traditional time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, though it could also be time to change out the devices themselves.
“Carbon monoxide detectors should really be replaced about every five years,” Beckett says, “and smoke detectors about every ten.”
Studies find the risk of dying in a fire is cut by 50% if there’s a working smoke alarm in the house. While you’re changing your clocks, make sure to give your other safety supplies a once over. Beckett says be sure to have some essentials stored away in an emergency kit in case the power or water goes out. “Make sure that it has essential items like nonperishable food, and enough water to support you and anyone else in your house for 72 hours,” he says.
Check the fire extinguishers in the house to make sure they’re still fully charged and ready for action. Beckett suggests a few other items be placed in your emergency kit. “Flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, making sure that all those things are there,” he says. “In addition to that, it’s a great time to go around and check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and make sure that they’re working properly.”
While we lost an hour of sleep this weekend, consider this — we also gained an hour of sunlight.