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OUR VIEW: Check smoke alarms as winter approaches

We have some good news this weekend. Not only is this the last weekend before Election Day, we also get an extra hour of sleep.

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, meaning we fall back an hour on Saturday night into Sunday morning.

It means we’ll lose daylight sooner, which almost everyone hates, but it also means it’ll be daylight earlier in the morning. That’s good for the early risers out there.

And although a lot of focus this weekend will be on changing clocks on ovens, microwaves and car radios, it’s also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke alarm.

The American Red Cross recommends replacing smoke alarms that are 10 years or older.

You should also have smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.

We’ve written in the past that colder temperatures can lead to fire hazards — space heaters, turning on gas furnaces, fireplaces, candles and Christmas lights are all potential risks when heating and lighting your home. That’s another reason to practice fire safety.

And most importantly, now is a good time to talk to your family about safety preparedness, just in case something happens. That means having a plan for if a fire does impact your home.

Practice safe ways to exit the home and pick a meet up spot so that everyone knows where to go in case of emergency.

As part of the plan, play it out and put it in practice. That means opening up windows, doors and finding exit strategies to get out of the home.

Now is the time to have those difficult discussions, just to be prepared. 

While you’re at it, go ahead and talk about a severe weather plan too.