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Daylight saving time began on Sunday, when the clocks moved forward one hour to 2 a.m.

When adjusting your clocks, don’t forget to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The National Fire Protection Association recommends changing the batteries in your alarms every six months. Alarm sensors also wear out, so it is recommended that smoke detectors be replaced at least every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors every five to seven years.

The NFPA offers these tips, taking into account the multiple types of smoke detectors on the market and their varying battery needs:

— Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year life batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the smoke alarm beeps, warning you that the battery is low, replace the smoke alarm immediately.

— Smoke alarms with any other type of battery require a new battery at least once a year. If this alarm sounds, warning that the battery is low, replace the battery immediately.

— When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s battery list on the back of the alarm or the manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the brand and model to be used. The smoke detector may not work properly if another type of battery is used.

It is also important, as spring storm and flood season approaches, to review comprehensive safety checklists.

“DST is a good time to reset and prepare as we get closer to the start of the inclement weather season,” Greg Engle, acting Wisconsin emergency management administrator. “We urge everyone to take steps to protect their families and homes from potential emergencies or unforeseen disasters.”

ReadyWisconsin recommends that every family have a contingency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster or any emergency. If you already have a plan, spring is the perfect time to review it with family members and make any necessary updates.

This is also a good time to assemble or restock a home or vehicle emergency kit. Check for expired products or items that may need replacing. Home emergency kits should include items needed if someone is stuck at home for a few days, or take out if you need to leave the area.

For a home emergency kit, it is important to have a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water. ReadyWisconsin recommends having enough water stored to provide one gallon per person per day over a three-day period. Other items in a home emergency kit should include:

– Flash light ;

— Extra batteries;

– First aid kit;

— Whistle, horn or other device to signal help;

— Photocopy of an identity document, such as a driver’s license;

— List of emergency contacts;

— Personal medical information and medications.

Don’t forget your pets. A pet emergency kit should include many of the same items needed for your human family members. Pet kits should include:

— Identification tags on collars;

— Medicines, vaccination records;

— Leashes or transport cage for pets;

– Current photos of you with your pets.

For more tips on emergency preparedness or what to store in an emergency kit, go to http://readywisconsin.wi.gov. You can also follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook.



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About Bob C. Zoller

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