Daylight Saving Time Spring Checklist

Daylight Saving Time

It’s time to “spring forward” for daylight saving early this Sunday morning, March 13. Since it occurs twice a year, daylight saving is the perfect time to perform basic maintenance in and around your home:

  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check to see if they have expiration dates, and change the batteries.
  • After a winter of using your fireplace or wood stove, have your chimney cleaned and inspected.
  • Check your fire extinguishers’ gauges to make sure they are still charged sufficiently. If they’re low, contact your local fire department to find out where to recharge them. Extinguishers must always be recharged after use. Make sure one is always easily accessible throughout your home.
  • Check outside railings, stairs, and walkways if you have them for needed repair after the winter.
  • Check trees for signs of damaged branches that might need to come down. Consider contacting a tree professional.
  • Perform spring maintenance on appliances and home systems:
    • Change filters in your HVAC systems as needed, or have them serviced.
    • Clean your refrigerator—wipe down the inside and vacuum underneath and behind to ensure optimal operating efficiency.
    • Drain the water heater to flush out sediment.

(Did you know that sudden damage to these home systems and appliances caused by accident, breakdown, or human error is typically not covered under most warranties or service contracts? Repairs can often cost thousands of dollars. Read more on how to protect these systems.)

  • Change your windshield wiper blades. If you have snow tires, plan to remove them as the weather gets warmer and snow and ice are no longer on the horizon.
  • Contact your insurance agent to review your coverage to make sure it’s still adequate, especially if you’ve had any major purchases or life events in the last year.

Daylight saving is a helpful calendar reminder to do these routine maintenance tasks. We’ll make sure to publish one in the fall as well, which will be somewhat different due to seasonality.

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

Dryer
(Photo Credit: iStock)

Did you know failure to properly clean and maintain a clothes dryer is the leading cause of a dryer fire? Here are some precautions to help prevent these fires:

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional, and make sure it’s properly grounded
  • Don’t use the dryer without a lint filter, and make sure to clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry
  • Remove lint that has collected around the drum and wash the filter screen to remove chemical residue every six months. Vacuum the motor area to remove dust and lint. (You may have to remove a panel.)
  • Use rigid or flexible metal venting material to vent outside. Vacuum out accumulated lint twice a year.
  • Make sure that the outdoor vent flap isn’t blocked or covered and will open when the dryer is operating, especially when snow starts to pile up.
  • Clean commercial dryer vents regularly—they get a lot of use and have a common venting system.
  • Don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn off the dryer if you’re going out and when you are going to bed.

These tips are courtesy of the Office of the State Fire Marshall, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the National Fire Protection Association. To find more detailed information, view these NFPA dryer-safety tips.