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Falling back doesn’t mean falling behind with safety

The first weekend of November, marks the end of daylight savings time. When changing the clocks at home, Ready-Wisconsin suggests also conducting safety checks.

“As you reset the clocks, take a moment to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check the supplies in your emergency kits,” said Dr. Darrell Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator. “The few minutes it takes to make sure they are working properly and are fully stocked, could help save your life.”

Smoke detectors sound the alarm when there’s a fire in the home and it’s important the devices are kept in good working order. The National Fire Protection Association says three out of every five home fire deaths occurred, when smoke detectors were either not present or were not working properly. Detectors should be tested monthly and should be replaced every 10 years.

Now is also a great time to have a furnace or wood-burning stove inspected, before colder weather sets in. Hire a professional to make sure it is in good working order and vents properly to the outside of the home. Any heating device that burns fuel, produces carbon monoxide.

Approximately 500 people are treated at hospital emergency rooms across the state, annually, for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Health officials say many of these cases could be prevented, by having working carbon monoxide detectors. Those devices should be replaced every five years.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and confusion. At high levels, carbon monox- ide can cause death within minutes. If it’s suspected there be may be carbon monoxide poisoning or the detector sounds an alarm, go outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.

If there is an emergency kit at home, now is a great time to check for expired products or items that may have been borrowed for other purposes, and need to be replaced. Pay attention to items such as batteries, first-aid supplies and food, which should be replaced regularly. Having a well-stocked kit is important, in the event power is lost or the family is stuck at home during a winter storm.