Before you go to bed on Saturday November 5, remember to set your clocks back one hour and enjoy that extra little bit of sleep.
You might have heard that many people use the changing of the clocks as a reminder to change the batteries in their smoke detectors (this is a good idea – I use the old batteries from the smoke detectors in clocks, computer mouse (mouses? mice?) and other “low-risk-of-dying-if-the-battery-runs-out” household items).
You can also recycle your used batteries at many retailers such as Best Buy and Home Depot, or store them until there is a City of Toronto Community Day. When storing batteries, it’s recommended that you tape them together side-by-side since there is a slight risk of the batteries igniting when the terminals touch each other, or storing them loosely but with some electrical tape over the terminals.
There are a number of other bi-annual safety tasks that you can do at this time also… here are a few to consider:
– Check that your smoke / carbon monoxide detectors haven’t expired (many have an expiry date sticker on them now).
– Use a dust buster, or vacuum to vacuum your smoke / carbon monoxide detectors to get dust and cobwebs out from the vents.
– Vacuum your clothes dryer’s exhaust pipe. Lint builds up over time, and will eventually prevent your dryer from working properly as well as being a fire hazard.
– Test your home alarm / fire system if it has that feature (be sure to warn your provider first…!).
– Check your fire extinguishers’ gauges to make sure they are still charged sufficiently (pro tip: turn them upside down and tap them firmly on the bottom – this loosens the contents).
– If your fire extinguishers aren’t charged enough, try using it (outside!) to make sure you know how to use one. Or, you’re able to bring them to local Fire Dept. stations or to the municipal Earth Days for disposal.
– Empty the crumbs from your toaster.
Some people also use the time change to remind themselves to:
– Clean furnace filters.
– Clean drains (a few tablespoons of baking soda, followed by some vinegar is a nice eco-friendly way of doing this).
– Clean your Washing Machine and Dishwasher.
– Flip your mattress.
– Change the direction of ceiling fans to counter-clockwise so that air flow is reversed (I’m not sure if this makes sense or not, but supposedly there is some energy savings to be had).
Whatever you do, be careful driving, cycling or walking the next few days as people around you become used to the change.
More information on fire prevention is available at: toronto.ca/fireprevention.
Have any reminders or tips that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments.