Isn’t it funny how just one hour difference can offset our routines so much? Since we’re creatures of habit, it can be tough to adjust to the new time for the first few days.

However, this transition is the perfect opportunity for you to get into a whole new annual routine: tackling recurring safety checks when it’s time to set the clocks back.

Here’s our list of the top safety tasks you should check off your list as the clocks fall back:

1. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Now that it’s getting colder out, you’re more likely to use a fireplace, gas-fired furnace or space heater. With this comes an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You should replace your smoke detector if it is over 10 years old and replace your carbon monoxide detector if it’s older than 5 years.

Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector best practices:

  • You should have a smoke alarm on every level of your house.
  • You should have one installed between each bedroom avoiding dead air space.
  • Interconnect the alarms so they all sound if one detects smoke.
  • Test all smoke alarms monthly.
  • If there is a fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan can mean the difference between life and death.

2. Replace batteries

We recommend you take this time to change all the batteries in your home.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are the most important.

But you might as well check thermostats, outdoor lights, flashlights and other battery-operated devices while you’re at it.

Check out these tips from Duracell on the proper way to discard used batteries!

3. Throw away expired medications

You might believe the milk is still good even though the expiration date was last week.

It doesn’t work that way with medications.

Expiration dates do matter when it comes to prescribed and over-the-counter medications. You can have serious problems from taking expired medication, even common stuff.

You can’t just pour it down the drain or flush it down the toilet either.

Check out your municipality’s website for recommendations on what to do with unused or expired medications.

4. Prepare a winter emergency kit for your house

This is a great time to create or restock your winter preparedness kit for your house.

It should include:

  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • matches
  • a manual can opener and canned foods
  • first-aid kit
  • unexpired medications
  • battery-powered ratio
  • extra pillows and blankets, and
  • a list of emergency contact numbers.

5. Prepare a winter emergency kit for your car

Along with preparing an emergency kit for your home you also want to prepare one for your car.

We recommend the following:

  • flares
  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • warm clothes, gloves and toque
  • blankets
  • water
  • non-perishable snacks
  • a shovel
  • reflective hazard triangle
  • jumper cables, and
  • sand for traction.

6. Check outside for hazardous material or situations

Last not but not least, check outside for hazardous materials or situations.

One possible overlooked safety check is the outside of your home and storage areas.

Now that it’s going be dark out early, you want to make sure there are no situations that could lead to falling. It could be from tripping over an unfinished summer project or toys that were left out.

You should alos check for hazardous materials that are outdated, unused or in poor condition.

Share your tips!

Was there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

With winter just around the bend, now is a good time to brush up on your winter preparedness training. Get started with our online training courses.

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Julie McFater

Director of Marketing

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