Be Home Safe and Water Smart for the Time Change
It's time to turn the clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 11, and remember to test home safety devices and reset sprinkler system timers.
Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, and it's a great opportunity to make sure your smoke alarm hasn't expired, install fresh batteries, and test them and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. When functional, these devices can double a family's chance of surviving a home fire or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.
When resetting clocks, residents and property owners with automatic sprinkler systems should check the timer in order to avoid fines for watering at the wrong time. They should also see if irrigation timers have back-up batteries that need to be replaced.
Home Safety Reminders
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue reminds residents to test and replace batteries in smoke alarms and CO detectors to protect their families and homes. If it's time to replace an expired alarm, Fire Rescue recommends a 10 year lithium battery alarm. It's a cost-effective, easy, and safe way to ensure your batteries stay fresh for the life of the alarm.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two-thirds of fire-related fatalities occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. A working CO detector is important because carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, and it silently poisons victims.
In addition to replacing smoke alarm batteries, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends the following safety measures:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside all bedrooms, in hallways, and in your living room. Do not place a smoke alarm in your kitchen.
- Keep smoke alarms clean because dust may prevent them from working properly.
- Replace your smoke alarm batteries every 6 months. Listen for the smoke alarm "chirping" noise, which indicates low battery power. Replace those batteries immediately.
- Replace smoke alarms 10 years after the alarm's manufacture date.
Residents of unincorporated Hillsborough County who do not have a smoke alarm may be eligible to have a free one installed. For more information or to request a free smoke alarm, visit the Project SAFE webpage or contact Hillsborough County Fire Rescue at (813) 272-6600.
Sprinkler System Reminders
All watering must be done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. The restrictions apply to most water sources, including private wells, ponds, or lakes that are used as alternate irrigation supplies.
Find My Watering Days
It's worth taking a few minutes to check and reset the timer of an automatic sprinkler system. For residents living in unincorporated Hillsborough County, violating the restrictions could mean a fine of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, leading up to $500 for the fifth and succeeding violations. Nonpayment will result in a summons to appear before a code enforcement special magistrate and the possibility of additional fines and a lien being placed against the property.
For complete information on water restrictions in unincorporated Hillsborough County, as well as links to information from the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace, visit HCFLGov.net/Water. For a recorded message about the restrictions, call (813) 275-7094. For other questions, contact the Water Conservation Office at (813) 272-5977, ext. 43991, during business hours.