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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Use Daylight Savings Time as cue for fall, winter prep around the house

STILLWATER, Okla. – Whether it is a string tied around a finger or an alert on a cell phone, reminders are good and often necessary things. In that spirit, homeowners can use Daylight Savings Time as a cue to begin preparing their houses and families for fall and winter.

On Nov. 6, Oklahomans will “fall back,” turning their clocks back one hour marking the end of Daylight Savings Time, but they should not stop there, said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist.

“Linking certain tasks with Daylight Savings Time can help you easily remember to perform some of that light, routine but important, maintenance that comes with owning a home,” Peek said.

Changing the batteries in all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be at the top of any fall Daylight Savings Time to-do list.

In fact, homeowners are encouraged to also make that swap every spring, too, when Daylight Savings Time begins. Then, rather than tossing the used batteries, recycle them or repurpose them for service in toys, media players and other electronics.

Fall also is a good time to check light bulbs and light fixtures around the house.

“A well-lighted house, especially at the tops and bottoms of staircases, makes it easier to move around and cuts the risk of someone falling or tripping,” Peek said. “If you need to replace any bulbs, consider using more energy-efficient options to save a little money.”

For guidance on energy-efficient lighting alternatives, visit www.energystar.gov.

The house’s heating and cooling system also should be serviced once a year, as well, either in the fall or spring.

“Contact a licensed professional to inspect, clean and perform routine maintenance on your heating and cooling systems. The same goes for any fuel-burning appliances in the home, such as fireplaces,” Peek said.

Finally, the end of Daylight Savings Time is an appropriate time of year to refresh the family’s emergency preparedness kit.

“If your kit is properly maintained you probably won’t have to throw away any food. But, you may have to tweak other contents such as clothing to make sure it is appropriate to the season,” Peek said. “You also should go over the family’s emergency plan and update the names and numbers of people and businesses on your emergency contact list.”

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Leilana McKindra
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Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-6792
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: leilana.mckindra@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000