We all remember the old saying, “fall back, spring forward.” I know I have to repeat it to myself like a mantra each year as I press buttons, twist dials, and flip switches to adjust the time on every electronic device in my car, house, and office.
However, it turns out there is another saying that is even more critical during Daylight Saving Time — which begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday — which is “turn and test”.
The American Red Cross reminds everyone that while taking the time to adjust their clocks ahead one hour, it’s also a good time to test the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“Take a few minutes to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working,” said Steven Greimann, interim CEO of the Red Cross Northwest Region, said in a statement.
While you’re at it, the Red Cross also suggests making sure there is a smoke alarm on every level of the home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. While this is the bare minimum across the board, check with local building codes for any additional requirements.
Take the time to practice (or create and practice) your escape plan, making sure everyone in the house knows how to get out of every room as well as how to get out of the home. Your family should have a meeting point a safe distance from your residence as well.
Prepare a disaster kit in an easy-to-carry bag with supplies to be used inside the house or out depending on the emergency. There should be plenty of food and drinking water, flashlights, first aid kit, batteries, a travel game or toy to comfort children, and more. For a full list of applicable supplies, visit the Red Cross’ website.
People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire and other emergencies. Contact Allison DeDonato at to find out about smoke alarm installation events throughout Washington and northern Idaho.