Falling back is more than just changing your clocks.
So tomorrow is the big day! Your likely thinking Halloween, I am thinking time to change your clocks back to standard time.
The time change itself means very little to me. I find it’s only real significance is the darkness may enable me to sleep a little later. It is the physical act of actually changing the clock that reminds me of the other things I should do at the same time. Below I’ve listed activities I do in conjunction of changing back my clocks.
- Check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Using a Sharpie, I write the month and the year I am installing the battery on the battery. If I accidentally miss changing one, I can easily pop or slide open the door and check the date I last installed. My smoke detectors are hard wired. I very rarely lose power so the battery gets little use so I only change their batteries in the Fall. If your smoke detectors run only battery only, you may want to change them in both the Spring and Fall.
- Check and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO2) detectors. This is a must for the Fall. CO2 detectors are almost always connected to an outlet, the battery is used as a back-up power source. Most CO2 detectors use a 9V battery as a back up. I believe changing this battery in the Fall is a must because Winter seems to be the time of year when CO2 is more likely to build in your home. CO2 is often considered a silent killer as it is odorless. (If you don’t have a CO2 detector in your home, get one now. They run from $19 – $50).
- Prepare a disaster supply kit for your house (water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets). September was Disaster Preparedness Month. If you missed putting together your supply kit last month, now if the perfect time. If you’ve created a home disaster kit in the past, use the semi-annual time change to check its contents (including testing/replacing flashlight batteries).
- Check home and outdoor storage areas for hazardous materials. Before it gets too cold out, discard (check with your local city or county for proper disposal) any which are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition.
- Check and discard expired medications – both prescription and over the counter. The expiration dates really DO have meaning. Many medications start to lose their effectiveness and may breakdown after their expiration date.
- This is the perfect time to check all of the batteries and replace burned out light bulbs in your home. Have you ever come home to your alarm clock flashing following a power outage? This weekend, grab a battery, write 11/09 on it and install it in your alarm clock. Do the same for anything with a back-up timer such as thermostats, phones, and other electronics. Also, check for burnt out bulbs and replace those too. Compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs are made for all wattage and sizes now a days. CFLs conserve energy and last much longer. (The two in my basement will be 16 years old this December).
Remember batteries, medications, paints, compact fluorescent light (CFLs), and chemicals are considered hazardous waste. Please check the website for your city or county for proper disposal.
I hope these tips help keep you safe and prepared. Do you have any tips to add? Please comment below.