Before it becomes Spring in the Northland, there are some things you need to check around the house for safety, especially since people are spending more time in the house.

A lot of people look at this time of year and start cleaning closets, basements, and their attic and getting rid of things. Add to your list that you need to check your filter from your furnace, test and change batteries in your smoke alarm, and test your carbon monoxide detector.

I just helped a friend to check smoke alarms and change batteries. If it's chirping, it needs to be changed. The first thing you do is touch the test button, wait for the loud buzz and then you are done. Might I suggest putting a piece of masking tape with a date that says the date you last changed the batteries to the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Also, put a date on it when you purchased the smoke alarm.

Consumer Affairs says you should change it out every 10 years. Most Americans never check their smoke alarms for a date (I am included till I read this). According to the Red Cross, the average single-family home should have at least five alarms. By the time a smoke alarm is 10 years old, it has a 30 percent chance of not working so if that doesn't make you change it, looking at your family will.

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You can buy a carbon monoxide alarm that plugs into the wall with a battery back up. Most people don't check those either thinking it will work because it is plugged into the wall. If the power goes out and your battery is dead, it won't alert you.

Change the filters in your furnace, you don't want them full of dust, which makes your furnace work harder, and it also is a risk of fire in your home. It will most likely need to be changed, your heater has been working all Winter.furnace

The last thing is, get together with your family, make sure they know what to do when there is a fire in the home or apartment. Have a path or plan that every child knows to get out of your house. Have a meeting place once you are out of the house, and practice many times if you have very young children.

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