Be ReadyWisconsin when you Spring Forward

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on March 13th. We “spring forward” meaning we set our clocks forward by one hour.  But along with moving the big hand up an hour, this is also a great time to check the things that keep us safe and ready for emergencies. ReadyWisconsin and the Red Cross urge you to check these items:

Smoke Detectors– This is a perfect time to check and replace batteries if needed and to make sure the devices around your house are working properly. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that about 16 million homes in the country have smoke alarms that do not work. In most cases, the batteries are dead or missing. Nearly 2,700 people die and more than 15,000 are injured each year because of fires that started in their homes.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors– Make sure you have CO Detectors and they are working.  All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.  That law took affect on February 1st, 2011. The measure requires detectors on every level of the home, including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Any dwelling that requires a building permit will be required to have carbon monoxide detectors directly wired to the electrical service with a backup battery. Existing buildings can use stand-alone battery-powered detectors. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, with more than 20,000 people visiting the emergency room and nearly 500 killed each year from overexposure to the gas.

Emergency Kits– Everyone should have a basic emergency kit in their home with supplies such as food and water to last you and your family for at least three days. Other items like a battery powered or crank radio, flashlights, first aid kit should also be included. Daylight Saving Time is a perfect time to get a kit and if you already have a kit check it to make sure food and other items are not near or past their expiration dates.  Emergency kits are available from the Red Cross store online.

For more tips on how to prepare you and your family, please go to www.redcross.org or  http://readywisconsin.wi.gov. You’ll find great information on how to get a kit and make a plan when disaster strikes.

For additional safety tips and information, visit ReadyWisconsin on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyWisconsin) or Twitter ( www.twitter.com/ReadyWisconsin ).  ReadyWisconsin is a preparedness initiative from Wisconsin Emergency Management.

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