Don’t Forget to Change Batteries in Alarms

With Americans rolling their clocks back one hour due to Day Light Savings Time, the U.S. CPSC – Consumer Product Safety Commission – is reminding everyone this would also be a good time to change the batteries in both smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) alarms. 

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenebaum state, “Fresh batteries in alarms are essential to keeping your alarm working and on guard to protect you and your family.”

Between the years 2008 through 2010, firefighters responded to more than 366,700 residential fires in this country that resulted in more than 2,300 deaths, more than 12,500 injuries, and approximately $7 billion in property losses annually. 

The majority of these fires occurred in homes with either no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that didn’t work.  CPSC encourages consumers to place smoke alarms outside sleeping areas, inside each bedroom, and on every level of their home.

CO alarms are just as important as fire alarms and should also be installed outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home except for attics or basements, unless these floors  include sleeping areas.

People cannot detect CO by either sight or smell, since it is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas.  CPSC said that each year from 2006 to 2008, there was an average of 183 unintentional, non-fire  CO poisoning deaths.  It is important to prevent deaths that result from CO poisoning by scheduling an annual inspection of all appliances, such as furnaces and chimneys, that burn fuels.  Another suggestion from CPSC is to keep portable generators outside when they are in use.

By following these safety steps and reminders from CPSC, consumers are more apt to prevent both fires and CO poisonings from happening in their homes and, thus, keep themselves and their family safe from harm.