WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is encouraging consumers to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend.
"When changing clocks this weekend for Daylight Saving Time, remember to change the batteries in smoke and CO alarms," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Fresh batteries in alarms are essential to keeping your alarm working and on guard to protect you and your family."
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, 2012.
About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don't work. CPSC also recommends that consumers test their alarms once each month and place smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom.
Fire departments responded to more than 366,700 residential fires nationwide that resulted in more than 2,300 deaths, more than 12,500 injuries, and $7.09 billion in property losses annually, on average, from 2008 through 2010.
CO alarms are equally important and should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should not be installed in attics or basements unless they include a sleeping area. Combination smoke and CO alarms are available.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that consumers cannot see or smell. There was an average of 183 unintentional, non-fire CO poisoning deaths each year from 2006 to 2008. To protect against CO poisoning, schedule an annual professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces and chimneys. Keep portable generators outside, far from the home when they are being used.