CPSC Urges Consumers to Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms This Weekend

October 30, 2008
Release Number: 09-034

Change your clocks. Replace your smoke alarm batteries. Both are important this weekend as Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 2.

While changing your clock can keep you on time for work on Monday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises consumers that putting fresh batteries in your smoke alarms can save your life.

In recent years, an estimated annual average of 378,700 fires, 2,740 deaths, 13,090 injuries and $5.6 billion in property losses associated with residential fires have been reported by fire departments.

“Smoke alarms save lives. That’s a fact,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “Working smoke alarms buy you valuable time to get out of your home when there’s a fire.”

CPSC urges consumers to install smoke alarms on every level of their home, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. To minimize nuisance alarms, install smoke alarms at least 10 feet from the stove and oven.

CPSC staff recommends installing both ionization and photoelectric type smoke alarms. Ionization type smoke alarms typically detect flaming fires more quickly, while photoelectric type smoke alarms typically detect smoldering fires sooner.

In addition to replacing smoke alarm batteries, consumers should test their smoke alarms every month to make sure they are operating properly – and never disable a smoke alarm. Long life smoke alarms with 10-year batteries are also available to consumers.