As most of the country prepares to spring its clocks forward an hour this Sunday, March 9, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue is reminding residents that daylight saving time also is a good time to change the batteries in home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Even smoke detectors that are hard-wired to a home’s electrical supply typically have a 9 volt backup battery to keep the detectors operating in case of a power outage. Often they will chirp when the batteries are dying, which means it’s time to change the batteries; just don’t disconnect or disable the devices, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue said in a news release.
In addition to changing the batteries in smoke detectors, local firefighters recommend that residents test the audible siren by pushing the button and clean vents that might be clogged with dust. Finally, check the manufacture date; typically, detectors should be replaced every 10 years, the release stated.
At least one smoke alarm should be placed on every level of the home. The most important location is near bedrooms, but firefighters recommend placing a smoke detector in every bedroom to provide an early warning of a potential fire to all sleeping occupants.
Smoke detectors, plain and simple, save lives, the release stated. Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns, according to the release.
Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night, while the victims are asleep. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least-expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire, the release stated.
In addition to changing your smoke alarm batteries this weekend, Summit County’s three fire departments recommend following these simple steps to protect loved ones and homes from fire:
• Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when batteries are changed
• Test alarms once a month using the test button
• Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested
• Make sure everyone in the home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond
• Prepare and practice an escape plan so occupants know how to escape the home safely should there be a fire, and set a meeting place a safe distance from the fire that also can be easily located by first responders
Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night, while the victims are asleep.