Daylight savings time officially ends this Sunday, Nov 6, at 2am, so you can get ready to capture that hour of sleep you gave up last March.
Remember, though, that your body clock is going to take a little longer to reset. For many, it’s just a couple of days. For others, time changes can trigger depression, irritability, migraines, cluster headaches and other physical and psychological ailments. Here’s more from the CDC on how to deal with the time changes.
There are several other things to check twice a year when Daylight Savings time changes. Some can save your life, others will help you avoid life’s little inconveniences:
- Replace the batteries in your smoke/fire detectors. These are usually AA, AAA or 9V batteries. An inexpensive way of making sure you know if there’s a fire in your home. REMEMBER: Any smoke/fire detector has a lifespan of 10 years. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced the smoke/fire detectors in your home, replace them this weekend. Most new smoke detectors have built-in 10-year batteries that don’t need to be changed.
- Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors. Again, these re usually AA, AAA or 9V batteries. If you use a fireplace, wood stove, kerosene space heater or any other device in your home that burns a fuel, you should have one of these on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces the oxygen the air. Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, confusion and blurred vision. Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. Here are some things you can do to avoid this silent, deadly killer.
- Go through your medicine cabinet and check the dates of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Remove outdated medicines and dispose of them properly – Do NOT just throw them away in the trash. The Lexington police department, Fayette County Sheriff and many local pharmacies will take outdated medicines for safe disposal. Do not just flush them away.
- It’s a good time to change passwords on your accounts. It’s recommended that you change your passwords on banking, credit card, e-mail and other critical accounts once a month. Other accounts with passwords should be changed every 90 days. Consider using an encrypted password management with a long, complex password to help manage other password protected accounts.
- Check your credit report. Many banking and financial institutions provide free credit reports, like www.annualcreditreport.com. All three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – are required to provide consumers with one free credit report each year.
- Look at your emergency plan and review it. Check emergency contact phone numbers and make sure they’re up-to-date. Call your out-out-state emergency contact and make sure they know they’re the one you and family members will contact in case local phone and communications systems don’t work. If you’re wondering what else you need in an emergency plan, here’s what you need to know.
- Pull out your family emergency kit and go through it. Do you have everything there that you need or have family members raided it for batteries, snacks, a flashlight or other essentials? Is your first aid kit up to date? Take some time during grocery shopping this weekend and re-stock your kit. You should have one for your home, your office and your car. Here’s what you need to know so you can build your kit.
- Clean out your gutters one last time before fall turns to winter. It’s a good weekend to put away summer yard furniture and other items on your property. Run gasoline-powered equipment dry, so there’s no gasoline left to “go bad.” Or add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tanks of lawn mowers, chain saws and other small gasoline powered equipment.
- It’s also a good time to make sure your portable generator works and starts on the first pull. Make sure you have fresh fuel and a spare quart of oil, so you can keep it running during a power outage. Here’s more on generator safety.
- Finally, it’s a good idea to look at that pile of paperwork on your desk and start filing it away. Tax season will be here before you know it. It’s a good idea to get things in order before you start with state and federal income tax filings.