MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.
Emergency Management Director Todd Pritchard says when you set your clock, it’s a good time to make sure you and your family are set for some of the safety things that we sometimes just forget about. One of them is checking smoke detectors. “Nearly 2,700 people die and 1,500 are injured because there is either a non-working smoke detector, and a vast majority of those are just (the ones with) no batteries in the smoke detector. Obviously, that’s a very preventable tragedy.”
The newer detectors with the lithium ion batteries still need to be checked regularly to make sure they work. Pritchard also says older smoke detectors do wear out and fail. “If you have an older smoke detector, you know, they don’t last forever. Their ability to detect smoke fades out after about five years, so if you have a smoke detector that’s five or six years old, you might want to think about just changing that whole thing out and getting a new one.”
Carbon Monoxide detectors are also important. Pritchard says several people die every year from this hard-to-notice killer. “We always think of it as the silent killer. You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. You can’t taste it. It’s very difficult to detect and it can take your life in really, a matter of minutes, so having that carbon monoxide detector is really a huge lifesaver.”
With winter coming, Pritchard says it’s time to make sure you have emergency kits in your vehicles and in your home. He says a little planning now can help save you and your family when you least expect it. “You may have to be in your home a day or two before you can really get out, or if you’re in a vehicle, you may get in a situation where the roads become impassable or you get stuck in a ditch or have an accident. Having some basic supplies like enough food and water... and you need to think about food that you don’t have to cool to store or heat to prepare, because you may not have power.”
Daylight Savings Time officially ends at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, so Pritchard says check your detectors and batteries before setting your clocks back one hour Saturday night before going to bed.