Catawba County News
Fall Back Safely!
Published: November 04, 2022
Fall Back Safely!
Sunday, November 6th marks the end of daylight savings time in North Carolina. This means colder temperatures, less sunlight and winter weather on the way. While you may not be ready to see the sun set at 5 pm for the next few weeks, you can get prepared for winter.
1. Make sure you have a good flashlight
An end to daylight savings time means we're entering the dark season. A good light source is invaluable when living, working and playing during the winter. You can buy a cheap flashlight at most hardware stores. But they are usually bulky, have poor battery life and don't provide much light. A quality flashlight will last for years to come.
2. Replace batteries
Catawba County Emergency Services recommends 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.
3. Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
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:
- Have a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
- 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.
4. Prepare a winter emergency kit
The time change is also a great time to create or restock your winter preparedness kit for your home, workplace or car.
We recommend the following:
- warm clothes, winter gloves and winter hat
- hand warming packs
- prescription medication and pain relief drugs like ibuprofen/acetaminophen
- non-perishable snacks
- a shovel
- first aid kit
- reflective hazard triangle
- jumper cables, and
- sand/kitty litter for traction.
5. 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 to 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 also check for hazardous materials that are outdated, unused or in poor condition.