'Fall Back' to Standard Time—Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms!

'Fall Back' to Standard Time—Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms!
Image: Pixabay
November 4, 2016

Do you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home? If not, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges you to install them as soon as possible!

There are more than 366,000 home fires every year and more than 2,300 people die in them, according to CPSC's latest Residential Fire Loss Estimates report.

If you do have smoke detectors, make sure they are working properly and have fresh batteries. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that two-thirds of fire-related deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

When moving your clocks back an hour to return to standard time this weekend, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms!

CPSC stresses that batteries need to be replaced in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms every year (preferably twice per year). A great time to do so is at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time (DST)—in March and November. In addition, the agency recommends that consumers test their alarms every month to make sure they are working properly.

Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, while about 95 percent of U.S. homes report having at least one working smoke alarm, only 42 percent report having a working carbon monoxide alarm. CO alarms can alert you and your family to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside your home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 500 people die each year in the U.S. from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning. This figure includes incidents involving automobiles left idling in a home's garage, which does not fall under CPSC's jurisdiction.

Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer, because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from a variety of sources and quickly incapacitate and kill its victims.

If you do not have CO alarms, get them. CO alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Like smoke alarms, CO alarms need fresh batteries every year. They should be tested once a month to make sure they are working. Combination smoke and CO alarms are also available, all in one single unit.

Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:00 am. Be sure to move your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night!