Spring Into Action: Check Your Smoke/CO Alarms, Change Your Batteries, Save a Life

Spring officially arrives next week! This Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time begins. It’s time to spring forward and turn your clocks ahead one hour. It’s also a great time to spring into action and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

CPSC estimates more than 300,000 residential fires each year, leading to 2,100 deaths, 12,000 injuries, and $6 billion in property loss. 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.

Here’s how you can spring into action:
• 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.
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they are working.
Good, Better, Best safe smoke alarm graphic
• Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.
• 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.

It’s a fact: only working fire and CO alarms can save lives. So change those batteries, check those alarms each month and save a loved one’s life.

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