Check your small batteries
I went around the boat yesterday, checking all of my small devices for expired batteries. Did you know that Duracell only makes batteries in March? Just kidding, but they all expire in March. I learned that when I had done an inventory of all of the expiration dates a few years ago after having my night vision scope damaged by old batteries that leaked out. That was a $150 lesson. Now I go around every March and check all the various devices that use small batteries.
I replaced a LOT of batteries! Not only that, I found one piece of equipment that wasnt functioning, even with new batteries. That ones going out for repair. I round one battery (I only use Duracells) that was corroding despite its expiration date being 2015 and it was never used. I found two devices that had batteries corroding inside even though the batteries were within their expiration dates. Found one device with dead batteries.
Some of these devices you readily think about, some not. A bunch you may not even have if you dont have a boat, but heres a partial list of what to think about. Flashlights, road flashers, aux. navigation / anchor lights, radios, portable FRS and VHF radios, portable GPS units, voltmeters (remember, theres a small battery in there for certain tests), emergency lights for life vests, timers, clocks, tools and test equipment, remote controls, anything that has a small battery for back-up power, and many more.
Make sure you check those batteries on a regular basis so the equipment will work when you need it! This is especially true for emergency devices. Also remember to check your stock of spare batteries for expiration dates.
Oh yea, I'm uncomfortable with the generic batteries that come with new equipment, or any battery that doesn't have an expiration date. While it's fine to use those batteries for awhile, I replaced any I found yesterday with fresh Duracells that have expiration dates.