WASHINGTON, D.C. – Spring is right around the corner, so you know what that means – spring forward when changing the time on your clocks. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 13. This weekend is also a good time to take steps to make sure your household is prepared for emergencies. In addition to turning the time on your clocks one hour ahead, CPSC is urging consumers to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.
“A few minutes spent preparing for an emergency in your home can keep you out of the emergency room,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “Fresh batteries in smoke and CO alarms can be lifesaving.”
Unless you have 10-year batteries, the batteries in alarms should be replaced every year. Alarms should be tested monthly to make sure they are working properly. CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that consumers cannot see or smell. Working smoke and CO alarms can help protect your family from a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) hazard in your home. Every home needs working alarms to provide an early warning.
Between 2010 and 2012, there was an average of 360,400 unintentional residential fires, resulting in about 2,200 deaths, 13,000 injuries and nearly $6.5 billion in property damages each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2010, an average of 430 non-fire carbon monoxide deaths occur annually.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or homes without working smoke alarms.
Remember, almost every day a smoke and CO alarm saves somebody’s life. Preparing and practicing an escape plan can buy your family valuable time to escape from a fire or dangerous level of carbon monoxide.