MADISON – When you spring ahead this weekend, it’s also a good time to check on your emergency preparedness, state officials say.
Wisconsin Emergency Management says the twice-yearly time changes for daylight saving create opportunities to refresh safety devices.
Here is a list of recommended checks:
- Smoke Detectors. Nearly 2,700 people die and more than 15,000 are injured each year because of fires that started in their homes. Now is the time to check and replace batteries if needed and make sure the devices around your house are working properly. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that about 16 million homes in the country have smoke alarms that do not work. In most cases, the batteries are dead or missing. This is a great time to put fresh batteries in your smoke detector. You should also replace the entire smoke alarm unit every 8 to 10 years.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Just last month, 13 people were overcome by carbon monoxide when a charcoal grill was used inside a home in Trempealeau County. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States with more than 200 killed each year from overexposure to the gas. Never use gas or charcoal grills inside your home or an unventilated garage. Make sure you have CO Detectors and they are working. Now is also a good time to check and replace batteries in those units.
- Emergency Kits. Daylight saving time is a perfect time to get a kit and if you already have a kit, check to make sure food and other items are not near or past their expiration dates. You should have supplies to last you and your family for at least three days. Other items like a battery powered or crank radio, flashlights, first aid kit should also be included.
- Emergency NOAA Weather Radios. Spring brings the threat of tornadoes and severe weather. Make sure you have an emergency weather radio. It’s like having a tornado siren in your home. When it goes off, go to a safe place. Listen, Act and Live!
More information can be found at the department’s website.