WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sunday, March 13 marks Daylight Saving Time and a moment to spring forward for safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind consumers that safety starts at home by changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Many electronic devices and appliances with clocks will adjust automatically, but smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms need a few moments–moments that can save lives.
CPSC estimates an annual average of 362,000 unintentional residential fires, resulting in about 2,400 deaths, 10,400 injuries and $7 billion in property losses each year from 2016 through 2018. According to a CPSC report, African Americans have the highest rate of fire deaths, nearly twice the overall rate across the population.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 46 percent of home fires, and 55 percent of the home fire deaths, occurred between November and March. The NFPA estimated that 57 percent of deaths occur in homes with no or non-working smoke alarms.
For 50 Years Your Safety Is Our Mission
CPSC celebrates its 50th year keeping the public safe, since the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972. From 1980 to 2018, CPSC reports a 64 percent decline in residential fires, a 63 percent decline in fire deaths and a 60 percent decline in fire injuries.
Although there has been significant progress and successes made since 1972, more can be done during the next 50 years to decrease deaths related to carbon monoxide exposure from the use of consumer products, which claim the lives of some 192 people every year.
Spring into action with these safety tips:
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly to make sure they are working. CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas.
- Change the batteries: Batteries should be replaced in alarms at least once each year, unless the alarms have sealed 10-year batteries. Replace the smoke alarm if it is more than 10 years old.
- Practice a fire escape plan: Make sure there are two ways out from each room and a clear path to outside from each exit. Once out, stay out.
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: