Family caregivers have a lot on their minds. Understandably, changing batteries in home safety devices typically does not top the list. Certainly caregivers can be forgiven for focusing on more immediate priorities.
Still, replacing the batteries in home safety devices can be a life saving act.
Caregivers – and all of us – can benefit when we connect events with safety habits because it takes away the need to keep track. One such event is daylight saving time and the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery Program.
We recommend caregivers replace the batteries in their senior loved ones’ smoke alarms (not to mention those in their own homes) as we move the hand of the clock forward. If you did not do it with the time change, there’s still time to do it now and pick up the habit in the fall.
Spring Forward Safety Tips
- Fire officials urge that we replace the batteries twice a year, timed with the daylight saving time change.
- Don’t forget to change the batteries now even if they are still working. Use these batteries in something else that doesn’t affect safety when they run out of charge.
- Fire officials also remind us to clean the smoke alarms inside and out when we change the batteries, dusting out or vacuuming the dirt and debris that may have accumulated since the last battery change.
- If your senior’s home is not equipped with smoke alarms NOW is the time to install one.
- Be careful when reaching for the ceiling; stand on an appropriate ladder and have someone nearby to steady you if needed.
- When the batteries are replaced, test the alarm to be sure it is functioning properly.
According to the US Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident statistics, 65% of home fire deaths in a four year time period occurred in homes without smoke detectors or those that weren’t working properly.
It is estimated that about 890 lives could be saved each year if all homes had a working smoke alarm.
Officials urge us to remember to change the batteries twice a year, every time we turn our clocks. If there are other devices in your senior loved ones’ home that require batteries such as carbon monoxide testers, radon detectors or other types of medical devices, now is a good time to check them out also. You can replace their batteries too and check for proper functioning.
This will be one less thing to try to remember to keep your senior loved one safe.