Since you have to remember to set all the clocks forward anyway, this is a great time to take care of some other basic maintenance around the house.
Here are a few things you can check to keep things safe and sound.
1. Replace the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors. Test them while you’re at it.
2. And if you’re not already testing your detectors and GFCIs each month, start now.
3. Vacuum the detectors, too.
4. Close and open all plumbing and fuel shut offs. Some gas fittings are ball valves with a grease seal, and exercising them keeps the grease spread so it won’t allow slow leaks. Do it quickly to avoid shutting off pilot lights.
5. Exercise your circuit breakers by flipping them all off and on. If you have fuses, make sure they’re screwed in tightly.
6. Inspect the furnace chimney for blockages.
7. Inspect the fireplace chimney for creosote buildup.
8. The summer’s prime time to take care of roof repairs. Inspect the condition of your roof and gutters. If you noticed ice damming problems during the winter, considering adding vents, rubberized ice and water shield or, possibly, heating cables to melt channels in the ice.
9. Make sure your fire extinguishers are easily accessible, and haven’t been shoved to the back of a cluttered closet. Don’t have any? Get them now.
10. The spring rains give you a good opportunity to isolate any leaks in foundations or basements, and take care of them now.
11. Clean out storm window drainage holes.
12. Have furnace burners inspected and/or cleaned. (Never vent a clothes dryer near the furnace as it can increase the chance of clogged burners.)
13. Drain your hot water heater (and do it quarterly). We’ll tell you how next time.