As Daylight Savings Time ends and people turn their clocks back an hour, it is also a great time to prepare for the winter season by ensuring your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries.
Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2:00 a.m. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.
“Smoke and CO alarms can save lives, but only if you have working alarms,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a release. “Make it a tradition, that when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, that you also change your smoke and CO alarm batteries. Working alarms – on every level of your home – can buy your family valuable time to escape from a fire or dangerous level of carbon monoxide.”
Sixty percent of fire related deaths occur in homes that have non-working smoke alarms or no smoke alarms installed, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Interconnectable smoke alarm systems are available, in which all alarms sound when one senses dangerous conditions.
Carbon monoxide alarms are also important safety equipment for the home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is considered the silent killer because it is an odorless, invisible, poisonous gas. The incomplete burning of fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas produces carbon monoxide. Malfunctioning stoves, ranges, water heaters, fireplaces and heating systems can be a source of carbon monoxide in the home.
Unless smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are equipped with sealed, 10-year batteries, consumers should change the alarm batteries at least once a year and test each alarm monthly.
Many fire departments have a program to provide and install free smoke alarms in their community. Contact your local fire department if you have questions about fire prevention or use of smoke alarms.