Washington, D.C. – Sunday, March 14, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time when consumers will turn their clocks one hour forward. As consumers welcome the new season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants you to add safety to your spring routine by changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.
Smoke and CO alarms need fresh batteries installed each year, unless they have sealed 10-year batteries. Alarms also need to be tested every month to make sure they are working properly. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should be placed on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. If either the smoke or CO alarm sounds, go to a safe location outside your home and call the fire department.
“Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms save lives,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Working alarms with fresh batteries buy your family valuable time to escape from a fire or a lethal buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.”
According to a recent CPSC report, there was an annual average of nearly 362,000 unintentional residential structure fires, 2,300 deaths, more than 10,400 injuries, and $6.69 billion in property losses from 2015 through 2017. According to CDC, about 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S.
- Known as the silent killer, because you cannot see it or smell it, this poisonous gas can come from many sources, such as portable generators.
- If you choose a plug-in type CO alarm, make sure that it also has battery backup.
- Never operate a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed, or on the porch close to the house.
- Prevent fires by having your fuel-burning appliances, like your furnace and fireplace, inspected by a professional each year.
- Keep space heaters away from curtains, beds, and anything combustible.
- Make sure fire sprinklers water supply is open.
Create a fire escape plan:
- Make sure there are two ways out from each room, usually a door and a window, and a clear path to outside from each exit.
- Ensure that everyone in the home knows the plan, and practice the escape plan twice yearly.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
For lifesaving information: