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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Five Reasons to Be Happy About “Springing Ahead” This Weekend


We’ve all noticed the daylight creeping ever-so-slowly further and further into the evenings. Now we get a big spring-forward today with Daylight Savings Time! While yes, this does mean losing a precious hour of sleep Saturday night into Sunday morning, I still love and look forward to extended daytime hours and am okay with losing that hour. 

Here are my top five reasons:
1) My commute home is now 100% in the daylight – yay!
2) My husband and I will start using our patio and grill for dinners again.
3) March ski days in the mountains are longer and lighter compared with the cold, dark December ski days.
4) Evening workouts can be moved outdoors instead of being stuck inside the gym.
5) Daylight Savings Time serves as a perfect reminder to do your twice-yearly smoke alarm check.

Practicing Home Fire Safety is simple, yet highly effective. Sixty-five percent of reported home fire deaths in 2004 occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms; however, having working sprinklers and smoke alarms together cut your risk of dying in a home fire 82% in relation to having neither. 

If you didn't already change your batteries over the weekend, use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to check your Home Fire Safety by going through these Red Cross Preparedness Tips. See the full list plus additional fact sheets at redcross.org/prepare/disasater/home-fire:
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly, or as soon as you hear a low-battery warning which usually sounds like a “chirping” noise.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around it regularly. Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
  • Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Plan regular fire drills to practice your escape plan ensuring everyone in your home knows exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
  •  Smoke alarms wear out. Replace your alarms every 10 years. If you can’t remember when you last replaced them, buy new alarms that are interconnected if possible. Install them using manufacturer’s instructions and hire an electrician for installing alarms that are hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. 

Sources: American Red Cross,* U.S. Fire Administration,*** and the National Fire Protection Association.**

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