The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend for Daylight Saving Time. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11. Fresh batteries allow smoke and CO alarms to do their jobs saving lives by alerting families of a fire or a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide in their homes.
CPSC estimates there was a yearly average of 386,300 residential fires resulting in nearly 2,400 deaths between 2006 and 2008.
Two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. That is why it is important to replace batteries at least once every year and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work. CPSC recommends consumers have smoke alarms on every level of their home, outside bedrooms and inside each bedroom.
CPSC estimates there was an annual average of 183 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products between 2006 and 2008. CO is called the "invisible killer," because it is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas. Because of this, people may not know they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuel in various products, including furnaces, portable generators, fireplaces, cars and charcoal grills. That is why it is important to have working CO alarms in the home, on each level and outside each sleeping area.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.