Sep 25, 2012

Coming up on that time...

For clocks to change. Yes, it's still a month away, but when they changed Daylight Savings to March and November from April and October, I changed my smoke-alarm battery habits. I just aim for April and October now. To make it even easier, I went to Amazon and set up a subscription for 9v batteries. Every six months, which - if you start now - means late March and late September, they send me a box of 9v batteries. They arrive in the mail, I replace them around the house, life is good.

As a corollary to that, check the manufacture date on your smoke and CO alarms. If they're more than five years old, chuck 'em and get new ones like this. At a minimum, have one on every level of the house. Ideally, have one in every room and hall except the kitchen and bathroom.

While you're wandering around, give all your fire extinguishers a good shake - you should be able to hear or feel the powder inside moving around. If you can't, replace it.

8 comments:

Phssthpok said...

RE: fire extingushers..

We were taught at the heavy MFG. plant where I worked to tip the FE upside down and give it a solid but not VIOLENT thump on the ground before activating. This broke loose any possibly clumped dry chemical at the bottom of the canister.

If you leave the pin in the handle (and use half a brain cell to keep from damaging the gauge) you can probably do the same for your home FE, and as long as the pressure gauge reads 'green' and you can hear the dry chemical inside, you're good to go.

ZerCool said...

Phss, I would never recommend thumping a highly-pressurized cylinder on the valve mechanism. Bad juju. Very bad.

The usual approach in the fire department was to have one person hold it upside down and smack the bottom and each side a few times with a rubber mallet, followed by a good shake.

mhaithaca said...

Setting up an Amazon subscription for 9V batteries is brilliant. Thanks for the idea.

My downstairs smoke detector is wired in, rather than battery-powered. Should it be replaced after several years, too? I did replace the upstairs one a couple of years ago after a similar reminder, and of course I replaced the CO detector when it started loudly complaining of its elderliness.

ZerCool said...

MHA - all smoke detectors have a maximum service life of ~10 years. IMHO, for $8/ea, it's worth doing twice that often. Yes, that includes the hard-wired ones, which are code-required in any new construction.

(I'm kind of surprised your hard-wired detector doesn't have a battery backup, unless it's an internal rechargable.)

mhaithaca said...

Boy, I wish your blog could let me know when you respond to a comment. On a whim, I just came back to look, but it's rare I'd think to do that. One of the few crucial advantages LiveJournal still has over nearly every other blogging platform.

I suppose it's likely the hard-wired one has battery backup. I should look, shouldn't I?

ZerCool said...

MHA - if you're using a Google account, it will email further comments. *shrug*

mhaithaca said...

Guess I'll try that, then!

Got a recommendation on which 9V batteries to get from Amazon? The $4.10 four-pack of Duracells becomes $10.32 if I don't want to get it from Bob's Battery Bonanza or whatever third-party seller has the low price, but that might still be a good deal.

ZerCool said...

I tend to get either Duracell or Energizer; Energizer "Industrial" alkalines tend to be cheaper - because they aren't put in a blister pack.