Nov 7, 2010


Set the clocks back (last night, or this morning) and, more importantly, run around and change all the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO alarms.

It may save your life.

If your detectors are more than five years old, replace them. A basic battery-powered smoke detector will run $8-10 at most stores, and a CO alarm about twice that.

It's a good idea to have a smoke detector in every bedroom, the hallways outside sleeping areas, in the living room/den/office, and in the basement/cellar/utility room. There should be a CO alarm on each floor of the house.

If you're stopping by the local DIY MegaMart, there are a few other things worth picking up while you're there:
- an extra flashlight or two (Cheap LED lights are great, toss 'em in a drawer. Most come with batteries and are under $3 each.)
- a bulk pack of each kind of batteries you use; replace batteries all around the house while you're at it!
- a new fire extinguisher (one in the kitchen and at least one on each floor of the house; A-B-C class dry chem, preferably 5lb or 10lb)

If you are in a three-bedroom house, you should be able to do ALL of the above for under $200:
- 5lb ABC extinguisher (2): $80
- CO alarm (2): $36
- smoke alarm (8): $34
- cheap flashlights (5): $15
- extra batteries (AA, AAA): $20

Grand Total: $185

You've got enough left over for a pizza!

All kidding aside: Most of us have insurance on our homes, vehicles, life, health ... we carry guns, wear seatbelts, don't smoke, drink in moderation (unless it's a VC night), and are generally responsible citizens. We think nothing (or not much) of spending $200 on a case of practice ammo... so why would you quibble about spending that much on long-term protection for your home and family?

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