Sonora, CA — When you spring your clocks ahead tonight don’t forget to make some other checks that could save you money and your life. One key safety check to make is to test and clean your smoke alarms. A 2010 study by the National Fire Protection Association found that while 96 percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
CAL Fire Spokesperson Lisa Williams says, “It’s a great time to change the batteries in your smoke detector and make sure they’re working. Also, vacuum the detector because dust can get caught in it and make it not work as well.”
Williams says working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent. Click here for more information on smoke alarms.
Another check could save you money on your tap. Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) says now is the perfect time to check your sprinklers and irrigation systems.
TUD Spokesperson Lisa Westbrook says, “People that have garden and yards especially, now is the perfect time to run their sprinkler system to ensure there working properly. Make sure all the heads are working and spraying the lawn, not the house, the sidewalk or the driveway. Also, reset the sprinkler heads so it delivers the water where it really is needed. Check all the lines and make sure you don’t see any leaks at all.”
TUD says resetting the sprinkler heads to deliver the water where it is needed can save 12 to 15 gallons each watering cycle. Most people use more water outdoors than indoors and sprinkler systems are the biggest culprit. TUD says stopping leaks and setting sprinkler timers correctly will save water and protect lawns and plants from the damage caused by overwatering.
TUD offers this sprinkler check list
• Replace the battery, if there is one, in the sprinkler timer and reset the sprinkler timer, if needed, to adjust for Daylight Saving Time.
• Check the timer settings to determine the number of days and minutes the system is watering the lawn and gardens. TUD says most foothill lawns and gardens do not need much irrigation until the warmer temperatures approach in June.
• Take advantage of the lower evaporation rates by watering in the early morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Watering during the cooler parts of the day can save 25 gallons each time you water.
• Look for perpetually damp spots in the yard or places where water pools because these could be a sign of a leak in the sprinkler system.
• If a leak is suspected, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, a leak is likely the cause for the change.
TUD says small changes in your sprinkler settings can make big differences in your water usage and water bills.
Click here for more water conservation tips