Spring forward with increased security

By Pamela Singleton, Sonitrol Pacific Director of Communications
Posted March 5, 2009

I possess the rare quality of being a morning person. I love to be up and at the office before the start of the usual business day and find it to be a very productive time. One of the few downsides of this habit is soldiering out the door into the darkness. However, this morning I was greeted by the sun peaking up over the horizon. My brief elation by morning light was followed by the realization that Daylight Savings Time must follow soon to steal it away from me.

And I was right. March 8 we turn our clocks forward one hour.

As you spend half your morning changing all the clocks in the house, make some additional time to complete a safety and security review.

Security cameras: if you have a surveillance system not monitored and serviced by Sonitrol Pacific, make certain you change the clock’s time and complete a test of the system.
Access control: if you use a self-managed access control system, while you’re changing the system’s clock, also update all your users’ assigned access levels.
Lighting timers: outdoor and indoor lighting timers can enhance home security and safety. Update the settings on your lighting controls to ensure you have outdoor light when you need it.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: clean the detectors of dust and check and replace batteries; replace smoke detectors every ten years and carbon monoxide detectors every five years.
Disaster supply kit: if you don’t have one, put one together; if you do have one, restock and refresh contents. Be sure to include water, food, first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, and blankets.
Car emergency kit: stock (or restock and refresh) with items similar to your home disaster supply kit in case you get stranded in your vehicle. Ensure your spare tire is sound and all your supplies to change a flat tire are all in good working condition.
Expired medications: make a clean sweep of cabinets and cupboards checking the “discard after” dates. This applies to prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Hazardous materials: go through the house and garage looking for outdated, no longer used or compromised hazardous materials. Discard these materials properly.

Do you struggle to get up each morning after we Spring forward? Try these tips:
Keep your bedroom quiet and dark; avoid doing work or watching TV in bed
Establish a routine, go to bed and get up at the same time each day
Give yourself about 45 minutes before you go to bed to wind down at the end of the day
Workout in the morning or afternoon; avoid evening exercise

Take naps, or only take them in the mid-afternoon and keep them under 30 minutes
Drink caffeinated beverages after mid-afternoon
Drink alcohol, or keep it to a minimum
Use tobacco products, especially near your normal bedtime