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Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

Fire Alarm Now that it is Fall and we are about the go through Daylight Saving Time (DST) it a great time to check and change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

When used and maintained properly, smoke alarms save lives and reduce injuries. They provide early warning and allow people additional time to escape.

According to the National Fire Protection Association dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures. They also report that:

  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.

Choose a smoke alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Alarms should also be installed on every level of the home. They should be connected, meaning when one sounds, they all sound. Safety professionals recommend that you test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Your family should have a fire safety escape plan and you should practice the drills twice a year.

Check with your local county, city or town fire department for additional information on possible installation and testing programs or escape plans. You can also check in with your local Red Cross or click here.

DST is also a good time to check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors. The Center for Disease Control reports carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 15,000 people to the emergency room and kills 480 people each year. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion. Just like your smoke detector it is recommend that you change your carbon monoxide batteries twice a year and test the alarms monthly. Here are some additional recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lastly, since you are already checking your smoke alarm and your carbon monoxide alarm, you should also use that time to check and replace any home fire extinguishers that have expired.

We want you and your family to stay safe this upcoming holiday season.