Fire officials say ‘Change your clock, change your batteries’

(NEWS10) — By now, you have hopefully already turned your clocks back an hour. But fire and law enforcement officials say the end of Daylight Saving Time is also an important reminder to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and replace their batteries.

Research by the National Fire Protection Association says that while 94% of American homes have at least one smoke alarm, more than one-third are inoperable because of dead or missing batteries.

“Working smoke alarms are the single most important tool in getting out alive during a fire,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino Sr. “Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can only save your life if they are functioning.

Officials say smoke and CO alarms should be tested once a month, and their batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. Changing alarm batteries at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time is a handy way to remember.

NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provided a number of tips to keep your alarms in proper working order:

Smoke Alarms:

Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

For the best protection, interconnect all alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.

Alarms should never be disconnected and batteries should never be removed.

For alarms powered by a nine-volt battery:

  • Test monthly.
  • Replace the batteries at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

For alarms powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery:

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For alarmshardwired into your home’s electrical system:

  • Test the alarm monthly.
  • Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms:

  • Install CO alarms on every floor and in sleeping areas to fully protect your family
  • Replace CO alarms installed five or more years ago
  • If an alarm is mounted on a ceiling, it should be installed away from existing smoke alarms to be able to distinguish between CO and smoke alarms in an emergency

 

For more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and other home fire safety tips, visit OFPC’s website at www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc.

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