As We Spring Forward, Protect Your Home

March 13, 2011

Want to hear an embarrassing story before I tell you how to save your life?

Several moons ago, I was an aerobic instructor. I had a class scheduled for Sunday morning. It was a step class. Ever do step? It’s exhausting. I wasn’t very good at teaching step, but you do what you gotta do, right?

I got up that Sunday and did what I do in the mornings. I made a phone call around 9:15 a.m., feeling confident that I had plenty of time before I needed to leave for my class.

The recipient of my call asked, what are you doing today?

I said, teaching.

She asked, what time?

Ten, I answered.

She pondered, you know it’s 10:15, right?

I had forgotten to set my clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.

I raced to my car and flew to the club. I had many unhappy exercisers glaring at me while we stepped up and down during — no doubt — the worst class of my aerobic-instructing career.

I’m sure all Chicago homeowners remembered to change their clocks this morning. But there is something else everyone should remember to do this weekend.

When you change your clocks, it’s important to check all the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

In Illinois, all homeowners and landlords must have at least one carbon monoxide detector set up within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping.

And, a working smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you to a fire 24/7.

But having an alarm with dead or missing batteries is as bad as having none at all.

So be safe, protect your household. Take this weekend to check your detectors to make sure they are working properly and change any batteries as needed.

Back to that embarrassing story, and to make it even more embarrassing, I had remembered about “Spring Forward” the night before. I just forgot to change the clocks and then spaced it out the next day. It’s easier today, considering many things that tell time in our lives change automatically.

Still, if you happen to be one of my students on that fateful Sunday many moons ago, let me again apologize. I think we’re even now, considering this story may have just saved your life.

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