|Smoke Alarm/Carbon Monoxide Alarm Awareness and Safety Tips. - Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery.|
|By Firefighter Patrick Kellett|
|March 9, 2019|
Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" has been recognized as America's most effective fire safety campaign, helping families keep safe should fire strike.
Working smoke alarms double a family's chances of surviving a home fire. As we change our clocks to spring ahead for Daylight Savings Time (DST), it is important that we also change the batteries in our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
"The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries." In the event of a fire, the safety of you and your family is dependent on a properly functioning smoke detector. Smoke spreads quickly during a fire and smoke alarms provide you enough time to evacuate the home before the situation becomes too dangerous. Properly installed and maintained smoke detectors are key for effective fire prevention.
NFPA provides the following guidelines regarding smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Smoke alarms safety tips.
For smoke alarms with replaceable batteries, a chirping or beeping sound will indicate that the batteries are low. It is best to adopt the habit of changing your batteries in the fall and spring, even if you have not heard a low battery alert. The NFPA tells us we should change our smoke alarm batteries twice a year, making DST the perfect reminder to change the time on all clocks and all smoke detector batteries.
To prepare for the upcoming time-change, verify that you have the correct batteries, both in size and quantity, to replace all smoke detectors in your home. Remember, smoke detectors save lives. Remind your friends and family to "change your clock, change your batteries."
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
Carbon monoxide safety tips:
Make sure your children know and understand fire safety. Children are at double the risk of dying in a home fire, because they often become scared and confused during fires. Show your children where smoke and CO alarms are located. Make sure they recognize the smoke and CO alarm's sound and understand that a sounding alarm signals an emergency and a need to exit the home and call the fire department.
Plan and practice your escape routes. Identify at least two different escape routes and practice them with the entire family.
Install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, including the basement.