Spring Forward and Make Good Changes

    Time will fly this weekend. Time to change time. Although we lose one hour of our lives, we gain an hour of daylight beginning 2:00 am Sunday, March 13. Don’t worry! We get the hour back November 6.

    Image credit: http://www.ohsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-shot-2016-01-17-at-11.04.10-AM.png
    Image credit: http://www.ohsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-shot-2016-01-17-at-11.04.10-AM.png

    The first Daylight Saving* Time was introduced 98 years ago and people have been disagreeing about it ever since.

    Advantages

    1. Better use of natural daylight
    2. Conserve energy otherwise spent on artificial light
    3. Decrease road accidents by making sure roads are naturally lit during hours with most traffic
      *the correct spelling is “Saving,” not Savings (www.timeanddate.com)

    Disadvantages

    1. Safety. People leave their homes while it is still dark in the morning and could be exposed to crime.
    2. Health. Studies show there is an increase in heart attacks and road accidents on the days after clocks are set forward.

    Be Alarmed

    In addition to changing clocks, use this time to check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The newer models of home alarms do not need battery replacement, but if you haven’t upgraded yet, take a few minutes on Saturday the 12th to change the batteries in all alarms. By the way, the batteries are ready to change if the alarm beeps. Why wait?

    The National Fire Protection Agency encourages us to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of our homes. We need to test the alarms every month and replace them every 10 years.

    Three of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. These alarms are small but very important.

    De-Lint The Vents

    Another safety measure you can do at the time change is to clean the vent in your clothes dryer. It’s best to clean it after each use, but do a deeper clean now. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, annually tens of thousands of fires lead to injuries or death due to dryer exhaust duct fires. Cleaning the duct hose and lent filter will help the efficiency of your dryer that could extend its life.

    Check the exterior vent. Be sure it opens and closes correctly. This will prevent rodents and bugs from entering the vent. Clean out the opening and vacuum, if necessary, to remove extra lint.

    For extra safety, first unplug the dryer and turn off the gas, if applicable. Vacuum to clean the lint trap and hose as well as where the hose attaches, usually to the back of the dryer. Clean the back panel and re-attach the hose to the dryer and to the wall. Replug the dryer into the wall and turn on the gas, if used.

    Change Your Furnace Filter

    Another safety measure to take at Daylight Saving Time is to change the filter in your furnace. Because of our calmer weather recently, your furnace might not be working hard. However, that doesn’t mean the filter is clean. Check the filter often, replacing when you no longer can see light through it.

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