Daylight saving time starts Sunday, March 11th at 2 a.m. Losing one hour doesn’t mean you have to be less productive, “springing” forward one hour is the ideal time to tackle seasonal safety projects. A lot of the routine maintenance on your homeshould be done twice a year, so what better time to start checking items off your “to-do” list?

Around the house

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test both devices to make sure they are in working order.
    Tip: Don’t toss the batteries; there may still be juice in them. They can be used in children’s toys, media players or electronic devices. Squeeze out every drop of power, then recycle them. In Toronto, they should be disposed of in special electronic waste bags.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to remove debris that may have accumulated during the winter. If clogged, spring showers can wreak havoc and possibly cause leaks.
  • Hopefully you’ll soon be using your BBQ. Check the tank and hose for leaks or cracks and replace if necessary. Don’t forget to fill the tank up while you’re at it because you never know when the weather might be ideal for the first BBQ of the season!
  • Go through your medicine cabinet for expired medication. Your pharmacist should be able to either take your old medications or provide you with information about where to dispose of them.
  • Inventory your home’s first aid kit and replace items that are expired, or replenish items like bandages that may be running low.
  • Switch your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Although initially more expensive, CFLs save you money in the long run because they use 75% less electricity and can last up to 10 times longer.
    Tip: Most CFLs don’t work well with dimmers, and tend to wear them out quickly or cause an undesirable flicker. Ask your local retailer for special dimmer-friendly CFLs.
  • Finally, this weekend is a good time to check and replace the filter in your furnace.

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