Setting your clocks back an hour should also serve as a reminder to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Working alarms are especially important because people are spending more time at home due to the pandemic, which means furnaces, fireplaces and other fuel-burning appliances are being used more often.
It’s also important to create a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room and to practice the plan.
Each year from 2016 through 2018, there was an average of 362,000 unintentional residential fires, resulting in about 2,400 deaths, 10,400 injuries and $7 billion in property losses, according to the CPSC.
How to check your smoke alarms
Checking most detectors involves lifting, twisting, or removing the cover. In some cases, the actual alarm will come off from the base with the cover. It is a good idea to change the batteries even if the alarm hasn’t been chirping.
Most alarms require 9-volt batteries.
After replacing the batteries in your alarms, check them every month to make sure they are working. Or you could install alarms with 10-year sealed batteries that don’t need replacing for a decade, the CPSC suggests in a news release. You should also click the test button to make sure the alarm is working correctly. If it is, it should make a beeping or chirping sound.
When is it time to replace your smoke detector?
You should replace your smoke detector if it didn’t pass the test after replacing batteries or it is five to ten years old.
How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is called an invisible killer because you can’t see or smell it. Each year in the United States, more than 400 people die of CO poisoning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CO poisoning can be caused by portable generators, home heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances. Most CO deaths occur in the colder months of the year, from November through February
Besides keeping your detector up to date, here are 7 tips to avoid CO poisoning: