Colorado Springs, Colorado (NAPSI) - It’s a good idea to check and, if need be, change the batteries around your house every six months or so, to make sure 10 essential convenience and safety items are operating properly:

1. Auto battery. Harsh, cold weather affects auto batteries more than any other engine component. Engines require more cranking amps and batteries are less efficient, reducing their charge acceptance and ability to start an engine.

2. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Every home needs working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Batteries should be changed twice a year.

3. Flashlights. Prepare for storm power outages by making sure you have several working flashlights with fresh batteries.

4. Radio. If the power goes out, it can be helpful to have a working battery-powered radio to monitor weather conditions.

5. Clocks. When turning the clocks forward or backward for daylight saving time, it’s a good idea to install new batteries, too.

6. Cordless tools. Overuse can drain the battery down to the point it stops working, which can damage the battery. Periodically charge it overnight for optimum run time and life.

7. Audio and video remotes. Stock up on AA and AAA batteries for TV remotes and video game controllers.

8. Laptop and cell phone. Review your laptop and cell phone battery capacity and make sure you’re using proper charging and storage techniques.

9. Garage door opener. Clean the battery contacts in your remote control before inserting the new batteries.

10. Keyless entry. Check all weak-powered keyless entry devices. Manufacturers recommend changing the battery in most standard key fobs once every year, advises Interstate Batteries technical services manager Gale Kimbrough, also known as “Mr. Battery.” Interstate offers thousands of different kinds of batteries, and its Interstate All Battery Centers will have, find or build the right battery for just about any gadget around your home.

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