SAFETY WARNING: Check your smoke detectors when resetting your clocks

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency services wants to remind you to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when you go to change your clocks this weekend.

"Working smoke alarms are the single most important tool in getting out alive during a fire," said DHSES Commissioner Roger Parrino Sr. said.

"Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can only save your life if they are functioning.  Give you and your family the vital time needed to escape a fire by ensuring that these life-saving devices are in working order," Parrino continued.

Research by the National Fire Protection Association indicates that while 94% of American homes have at least one smoke alarm, more than one third don't work properly because of dead or missing batteries.

Nearly half fire deaths in the U.S. happen in the 6% of homes with no smoke alarms at all.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America.  It kills more than 400 people every year, sends 20,000 people to the ER, and hospitalizes more than 4,000 people.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like, including headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and confusion.

 

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:

o   Test monthly.

o   Replace the batteries at least once every year.

o   Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

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

o   Test the alarm monthly.

o   Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • For alarms hardwired into your home's electrical system:

o   Test the alarm monthly.

o   Replace the backup battery at least once every year.

o   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

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