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New Home Traditions
With a new house comes new routines, new rooms to decorate, new places to explore, new rules to follow, new people to meet, there’s simply newness everywhere you turn. It’s the perfect time to establish new home traditions.
We recently made a diagonal move across the country, from the tip of South Florida to the Seattle area in Washington State. In many ways, the move felt like “coming home,” but in other ways it felt like we moved to a different country, because of said newness!
The beauty of moving as a family is that you take the best of what you had and you leave behind the things that didn’t work so well. The meaningful traditions celebrating the seasons, holidays and family milestones will certainly stick around regardless of where in the world we are. Those are the things memories are made of; they are the glue in any family.
Our Life-Saving Traditions
One of the sweetest traditions we have takes place on our wedding anniversary and then again six months later, on Thanksgiving. A wedding anniversary marks the commencement of a family, the official launch of our unity and family bond. Thanksgiving is the day we reflect upon all of our blessings and the people, things and memories for which we are thankful.
In our family, we take the opportunity on those two days to ensure the continued safety of our family. They are milestone dates we never have to write in a calendar and now, after 12 years of marriage, it’s a tradition we uphold as strongly as saying grace before Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Every year on our wedding anniversary in May and on Thanksgiving, we check our Carbon Monoxide and fire alarms to ensure they have fresh batteries and are installed correctly. The alarms can easily go unnoticed as they blend in with the ceiling and you will never know if they have malfunctioned, until it is too late. My husband has a construction background and his motto, in everything he does, is “safety first.” It was so sweet and romantic when he, on our first wedding anniversary, checked the batteries in our Carbon Monoxide and fire alarms.
There’s a bonus to celebrating your anniversary and Thanksgiving with the sweet tradition like we do, we won’t be woken up in the middle of the night from a chirping fire/ Carbon Monoxide alarm telling us that it’s time to change a dying battery.
Did you know that your Carbon Monoxide alarm may have an expiration date? This was news to me when we moved to Washington State, but it’s something VERY important to be aware of.
What is Carbon Monoxide (“CO”)?
- CO2 is an invisible, odorless and deadly gas that can be produced by any fuel-burning device.
- CO alarms detect this poisonous gas and provide early warning.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide in a home:
(This is a list of examples, but there could be other CO sources in your particular home.)
- Dryer vent
- Generators (This is particularly important to remember during power-outages due to winter storms or hurricanes: never run a generator INSIDE your home!)
What do the beeps from my Carbon Monoxide alarm mean?
(No, the CO alarm is NOT trying to wake you up because it’s time to go to work. Each beeping sequence has a different meaning. It’s important that you know the difference between them.)
- Four beeps and a pause!
- This is alerting you of a CO emergency! Carbon Monoxide has been detected. Get all living beings out of the house and into fresh air and call 911 immediately.
- One beep every minute!
- Low battery. It’s time to replace the battery in your Carbon Monoxide alarm. If you set up a six month routine to check the batteries, chances are good that you will never hear this alarm. Be sure to use brand new and high quality batteries.
- Five beeps every minute!
- End of life! (The alarm’s life… not yours!) It’s time to replace your CO alarm.
- Four beeps and a pause!
End of life? Since when did Carbon Monoxide alarms have expiration dates?
- If you live in one of the following States, your CO alarm needs to be replaced every seven years: California, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
- In 2011 the above referenced states adopted new building codes. The new regulations include that one- and two-family homes have CO alarms with a set useful lifespan of seven years.
- It’s seven years since those laws went into effect, so over the next coming year, a number of CO alarms across the country will be beeping “five beeps every minute” – alerting the home owner that it’s time for a few Carbon Monoxide alarm.
WHEN I do buy a new CO alarm, I will make sure it’s a First Alert alarm, which the builders of our new home already installed. First Alert have an alarm that fits every alarm-need and home situation.
My favorite Carbon Monoxide alarms by First Alert are:
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm with 10-year battery and digital temperature display.
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm, battery powered.
- Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm, with battery back-up.
- Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm, with battery back-up and digital display.
- Combination Photoelectric Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with 10-year battery.
Personally, I have made a mental note that I need to give my husband a new Carbon Monoxide alarm for our 20th wedding anniversary. Nothing says “LOVE” like a CO alarm!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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