Protecting your home and community

Daylight Savings Time: Two Steps to Ensuring Your Safety

Image of a melted clock

Spring Forward?

It’s a week since Daylight Savings time began, but if you haven’t done so already, you can improve your safety by taking these two steps:


  • Changing the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors, and
  • Turning your circuit breakers off and then back on, just once.


Why do this? If you change your batteries every six months, when the time changes, you’ll never be in the position of having a dead battery when you need it the most. You might ask, “How can that ever happen, since my smoke detector gives these god-awful squawks every minute when the battery runs low?”

A chirping smoke detector

Why wait until 2am?


Unfortunately, it’s quite possible. If that smoke detector starts squawking at 3 in the morning, you’re less likely to go searching for a battery, and more likely to just take the detector out, pull the battery from it, and go back to sleep. “I’ll deal with it in the morning,” you’ll say. Maybe you don’t have the correct battery in your house and need to go to the hardware store. Another day goes by. And so forth.


You can prevent all of that by swapping out all those batteries twice a year, when the time changes.


And what’s that about circuit breakers?

A photo of a circuit breaker panel

Circuit breakers are terrific inventions. Like insurance, you don’t pay attention to them until something happens that activates them. They cut the circuit, leaving you and your family safe from burning wires. However, like insurance, you need to check the policy from time to time to make sure you’re properly covered.


Metal connections that make a circuit will weld together over time. It can take a long time, but how long has it been since that circuit breaker has been switched or tripped? Years? Decades? If it has been “forever” since that breaker was tripped or switched off, there’s a chance that it will have fused. Instead of opening and cutting the circuit when its load has been reached, the breaker might stay closed, putting you and your family at risk.


While you’re at it, look at the brand of your breakers and make sure that they’re safe. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see if there have been safety problems with your type.


So, trip the breakers and change the batteries. Do it this weekend. And put in your calendar to do it again when you Fall Backwards!

Photo of two fuse types

Remember how difficult these were to unscrew?


Those of you that still have fuses instead of breakers don’t have to worry about this as a safety issue: no movement has to take place for a fuse to break the circuit. However, anyone who has changed a fuse that hasn’t been touched in a long time will tell you, the longer the fuse has been there, the harder it is to unscrew. You can make it easier on yourself to go ahead and unscrew them once a year, for when you really need to change it.

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