Hickory, dickory, dock, it’s time to change your clock… and smoke and CO alarm batteries too!

Clock and mouse

No, we are not going to recite the hickory dickory dock nursery rhyme. But we are going to remind you of an important action that you can take as Daylight Saving Time ends. So are you ready to “fall back” and spring into action? Good, then let’s do this!

Clocks turn back an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 6th with the end of Daylight Saving Time. That means it’s also time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Some sobering facts: CPSC estimates more than 300,000 fires, 2,100 deaths, 12,000 injuries, and $6 billion in property loss each year from 2011 to 2013. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or where the smoke alarms are not working.

Carbon monoxide alarms also are life savers, so make sure you have one and that it’s working properly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 400 deaths occur from CO poisoning every year.

Good, Better, Best safe smoke alarm graphic

Here’s what you can do to stay safe:

  • CPSC recommends that smoke alarms be placed on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.
  • Install both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms. Check out CPSC’s Good, Better, Best approach (pdf) to fire safety in your home.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf need special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month.
  • Have a fire escape plan and practice it. A smoke alarm can’t save lives if everyone doesn’t know what to do when it sounds. Have two ways to get out of each room and set a pre-arranged meeting place outside. Children and the elderly can sleep through the sound of a smoke alarm or not hear it go off, so a caregiver needs to be prepared to help others get out of the house. And remember, once you are out of the house, stay out.

Are you ready to change? Now is the time. Change your clocks, change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and save the lives of those you love and care about.

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