Daylight Saving Time started March 9, and it’s a perfect time to test and change the batteries in your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Having an operating smoke alarm doubles your chances of surviving a fire, according to studies. It’s recommended to install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in every bedroom, according to an article by Tareka Wheeler, Safe Kids Foundation.
Here’s a few pointers from Safe Kids:
1. Smoke alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings and should be tested monthly.
2. Check the batteries at least once a year, even if alarms are wired directly into your home’s electrical system.
3. Consider installing a smoke alarm that has a 10-year battery.
Reminder: Smoke alarms don’t last forever. They typically expire after eight to 10 years. So if your alarm is more than 10 years old, it’s time to install a new one.
Here are some more sobering facts on the dangers of fire:
1. Each year working smoke detectors alert thousands of people to fires in their homes.
2. Two-thirds of home fire fatalities result from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms.
3. Fire deaths are most often caused by inhaling the dangerous toxic smoke and gases emitted by early-stage fires.
4. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are sleeping. Children and senior citizens are most at risk. A working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds required to get out of the burning home safely.
The early warning that smoke detectors provide can make the difference between life and death for you or a family member.
Another major hazard — carbon monoxide — is an odorless, colorless gas found in combustion fumes. People and animals that come in contact with these fumes can be poisoned by breathing in the gas. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
Remember to keep your family and home safe by checking and replacing batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
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