NORMAN — As we prepare to “fall back” with the end of Daylight Saving Time, the tradition serves as a reminder to take steps forward to keep our homes and families safe.
Do not stop at turning your clocks back one hour on Sunday, keep going by getting your home ready for fall and winter. Associating certain tasks with Daylight Saving Time is an easy way to remember to do some of those routine, but important, tasks around the house.
Changing the batteries in all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be at the top of the to-do list. In fact, homeowners are encouraged to make that swap twice a year. Rather than tossing or recycling those used batteries, repurpose them for service in toys, media players and other electronics.
Fall also is a good time to check light bulbs and fixtures around the house. Making sure your house is well lit, especially at the top and bottom of staircases, not only makes it easier to move around, but can reduce the risk of someone falling or tripping. When you need to replace bulbs, consider using more energy-efficient options to save a little money.
Additionally, your home’s heating and cooling system should be serviced once a year either in the fall or spring.
The end of Daylight Saving Time is an appropriate time of year to refresh and restock your emergency preparedness kit. If your kit is properly maintained you should not have to throw away any food. Items close to their expiration dates should be cycled into the daily food supply so they can be eaten, then add foods to your kit with at least a 6-month expiration date.
The easiest way to tell if any food items and beverages have gone bad is to check the expiration dates. To avoid confusion, check for expiration dates when you put foods in the kit. If the product has no date or the date is written in code, use a marker to write the date you put the food into your kit or the date you need to remove it from the kit. Just remember to use the same method each time you update your kit.