Fall Back in Time, Change Your Batteries

by Dan Lesniak

This last weekend saw Daylight Savings Time turn back one hour, bringing us an earlier sunrise and sunset as winter along the Orange Line closes in. Whether you like the Daylight Savings program or not, it is in play and two times a year we adjust our clocks accordingly. Remembering just when these time changes occur can be difficult, especially with the recent changes making the time shift longer than it had been. Hopefully by now you have set your clocks back that one hour and you are feeling in rhythm to time change. There are also important aspects of our home life which should be reviewed at least a couple times a year, which can also be easy to forget. Changing the batteries on smoke and carbon detectors is one such task. If you plan to change the batteries at the time we “spring” ahead one hour, and then again when we “fall” back an hour again, it can be easier to make this an automatic change every six months, which is recommended by Fire and Safety agencies.

With Smoke and Carbon Detectors, it is ideal to test them once a month. If the alarm doesn’t go off when testing, change the batteries right away. To ensure you have working batteries, they should be changed at least every 6 months no matter how often you test the detectors. As batteries drain, whatever they are powering will work less efficiently. Considering a fire can blaze out of control in a few as 30 seconds, this is not something you want to worry about when it comes to detectors in your home. According to the Arlington County Fire Department, it is also ideal to have at least one detector on each floor of your home and in any room where there is a higher likelihood of a fire, such as your kitchen. Because carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can kill if there is overexposure to it, it is also recommended to have a carbon detector on each floor of your home as well. Having these detectors installed is a case of easy prevention and worth the small cost that entail.

The Arlington County Fire Department takes the use of detectors seriously, enough to offer free installation and inspection to those residents in need of assistance through Operation Firesafe. There are also free safety inspections done by the Fire Department to help ensure you and your family have properly working equipment and a good fire escape plan in place. With these Free Home Safety Checks, residents of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church will get a review of your home checking for fire hazards, inspecting any space heaters, extension cord use, placement of your smoke detectors, furnace maintenance and so much more. If you have children at home, the inspection includes a check on window blinds and hanging cords, review childproofing efforts such as cabinet latches and baby gates and even check for peeling paint to help your family avoid exposure to lead based paint.

I have said it before and I will say it again, it is great to live in a community that cares. These free services offered by the Arlington County Fire Department are just one more way we can experience that caring attitude. I encourage you to change the batteries in your detectors and complete a home safety check soon. There is no time like the time change to help you remember to get this all too important task done and relax with peace of mind about the safety of your home. If you are ready to buy or sell your property, myself and the Orange Line Living team, are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected]

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