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Semi-Annual Time-Change Safety Tips

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Spring Forward... Fall Back -- Time for a CHANGE! -- from/to Daylight Savings Time

When we change our clocks – 

  • Daylight Saving Time begins for most of the United States at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March.
  • Time reverts to standard time at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.
Change your batteries (and more!) when you change your clocks, twice each year.

Twice a year, when Daylight Saving Time begins or ends, make it a habit to not only change your clocks, but do a few other semi-annual tasks that will improve safety in your home...

Do these things every 6 months when you reset your clocks:


  • Check and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Replace any smoke alarms older than ten years. Replace any CO alarms older than five years.


  • Prepare a disaster supply kit for your house (water, food, flashlights, batteries, blankets).

    Once you've created your home disaster kit, use the semi-annual time change to check its contents (including testing/replacing flashlight batteries).


  • A COLD winter is coming! Make a "winter car-emergency kit" now and put your vehicle! (Don't know what to include? Do an Internet search for "car emergency kit" and you'll find lots of ideas!)

    It's a good idea to carry a car-emergency kit in your car year-round, but be sure to add cold-weather gear to your general car-emergency kit each fall. (Having a separate duffle/gear bag clearly marked "Cold Gear" specifically for your cold weather emergency gear makes it easy to add or take out of the car, seasonally.) Like a Boy Scout, "Be Prepared!"

    In cold weather, even a very minor car problem or flat tire can be deadly serious, or at the very least, miserable to deal with, unless you're well prepared.


  • Check home and outbuilding storage areas for hazardous materials. Discard (properly, please) any which are outdated, no longer used, or in poor condition. Move any which are within reach of kids or pets.


  • Check and discard expired medications - those dates really DO have meaning - some very common over-the-counter medications can cause serious problems due to change through aging.

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Remember to check the AGE of your detectors!

On November 2nd, 2007, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), press release #08-062, suggests not only to check/change batteries in alarms, but also check the age of the alarms and replace older alarms. The CPSC suggests that consumers


  • replace smoke alarms every ten years and


  • replace carbon monoxide (CO) alarms every five years.


Sensors in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms degrade and lose effectiveness over time through environmental contamination and age.


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Daylight Savings Time change dates for the next few years --


Here are the time-change

dates for the next few years...


Year                DST Begins              DST Ends

                        at 2 a.m.                     at 2 a.m.


2017               March 12                    November 5

2018               March 11                    November 4

2019               March 10                    November 3

2020               March 8                      November 1

2021               March 14                    November 7

2022               March 13                    November 6

2023               March 12                    November 5


in addition to smoke detectors and CO detectors, the semi-annual time change is also a great time to change ALL the batteries in the house - clocks, controls with backup timers (thermostats, irrigation, outdoor lighting, water conditioners), phone accessories, flashlights, and portable electronics...

And remember to discard the used batteries properly.

I hope this page helps prompt/remind you to use each "time change" to improve your home safety!  -OUPD Webmaster