WASHINGTON, D.C. – This weekend marks Daylight Saving Time. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind everyone of the simple life-saving habit of changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Change the batteries when you change your clock! Daylight saving time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday March 11 when clocks are set ahead one hour.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for everyone to try to make a difference in reducing the more than 360,000 fires in homes each year. Did you know that there are roughly 2,200 deaths and 11,000 ER related injuries each year? Proper installation, operation, and maintenance of smoke alarms reduce the risk of property damage, injuries, and death. You can also install a smoke alarm that has a sealed-in battery that will last 10 years.
In addition to smoke alarms, CO alarms should also be checked this weekend. Carbon monoxide is the invisible killer—it’s a colorless, odorless gas and it can kill within minutes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 42 percent of households report having a working carbon monoxide alarm. Changing the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms is the easiest way to ensure protection of your loved ones and your home in the event of a fire.
Spring into action with these safety tips:
- CPSC recommends that smoke alarms be placed on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.
- Install both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms. Check out CPSC’s Good, Better, Best approach (pdf) to fire safety in your home.
- Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they are working.
- Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.
- A smoke alarm can’t save lives if everyone doesn’t know what to do when it sounds. Have two ways to get out of each room and set a pre-arranged meeting place outside.
- Children and the elderly can sleep through the sound of a smoke alarm and not hear it go off, so a caregiver needs to be prepared to help others get out of the house.
- And remember, once you are out of the house, stay out.
Do it for safety’s sake!