Just like that, it’s already March and our country’s only two seasons are changing. Those few blissful days of cool temperatures for 2021 are quickly becoming a fond memory and if the past few days are any indication of what is to come, the heat is on.
Most of us will be celebrating the first anniversary of home quarantine arrangements in a few days. And although our national vaccination program has finally began because of donations from China or the COVAX facility, the rate at which our government is procuring and vaccinating Filipinos still leaves much to be desired.
If we are going to be realistic and practical, we should continue preparing for the worst case scenario of another series of lockdowns. Our best case scenario at this point is if we get to keep whatever current quarantine status our towns and cities are in while we wait for the vaccines to arrive and the government demonstrate its capability to deploy those vaccines throughout our 7,107 islands that is home to more than 100 million people.
The first concern for Filipinos that comes with the arrival of March is protecting our homes from fire. This month is Fire Prevention Month for a reason and if we are going to check our fire extinguishers only once a year, now is the best time to do so. First of all, check if you have as least one in your home. If you do, see if it is expired and have it refilled or replaced if necessary. March is when the dry season kicks off, raising the risk of fires. Fire prevention becomes doubly important now that our family members are spending so much more time working and schooling from home.
Aside from the fire extinguishers, heads of families will also need to do an audit of their home’s electricals. With family members spending all their time at home, the electrical loads will have changed. Make sure that the connections that were supposed to be “temporary” in March/April 2020 have been improved. Assume that the numerous extension cords and octopus connections are going to be permanent and make the necessary improvements to ensure the safety of your homes’ 24/7 occupants.
After ensuring the safety of your home from fire, there is also the comfort aspect. Days are going to get hotter so now may be a good time for air conditioning units to be cleaned and serviced. Cleaning and servicing of the aircon units that have been operating at unheard of levels for an entire year now will not only make them cool rooms better, it will also make them run more efficiently once more and lower electric bills.
The same goes for electric fans and other appliances like desktop computers that have been working overtime this past year. Regular cleaning will make them work better and extend service life. Those who have never opened up their desktop computers for cleaning might be in for the shock of their quarantine life. The coming hot and dry summer months will bring more than the usual dust into our homes so the frequency of regular cleaning intervals will have to be reconsidered.
Given how our government continues to respond to this pandemic and the longevity of our dear leader’s boomer command, we have to assume there will still be no trips or vacations, at least for the first half of this year. We will still be staying home most of the time and that is why heads of families have to do everything in their power to ensure that their homes are safe and comfortable.
As we have seen from past summers, the coming months can bring a special brand of pain and agony for those who live in homes that are not prepared. Just because we have already spent so much time in our homes in the past year, it doesn’t mean our homes are ready for this summer. The changing weather these past few days is just giving us reasons to prepare and a regular checkup every now and then that usually yields improvements at minimal cost is always good for any home.*