Change the batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors twice a year
when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
It’s a fact that having a smoke alarm in the house cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half. Almost 60% of all fatal residential fires occur in homes that don’t have smoke alarms, so this may be the single most important thing you can do to keep your family safe from fires.
If your home doesn’t have smoke alarms, now is the time to install them on every level of your home and in each bedroom. If possible, choose one with a 10-year lithium battery. If your smoke alarm uses regular batteries, remember to replace them every year (hint: change your batteries when you change your clock back from Daylight Saving Time in the fall).
Test your smoke alarms monthly, and be sure your kids are familiar with the sound of the alarm and what they should do if they hear it.
Because smoke rises, smoke detectors should always be placed on ceilings or high on walls. If a smoke detector near the kitchen goes off while you’re cooking, do not take the battery out of it — you may forget to replace it. Open the doors and windows instead. Or you might consider installing a rate-of-rise heat detector for places like the kitchen, where smoke or steam from cooking are likely to cause false alarms. These alarms can sense when the temperature reaches a set critical point or when it rises by more than a certain number of degrees a minute.
Carbon monoxide (sometimes referred to as CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the burning of material containing carbon. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage and death. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it; but carbon monoxide can kill you.
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. This odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas is known as the “Silent Killer.” The Centers for Disease Control estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning claims nearly 500 lives, and causes more than 15,000 visits to hospital emergency departments annually.
Carbon monoxide is produced by common household appliances. When not properly ventilated, carbon monoxide emitted by these appliances can build up. See below for a list of appliances that can emit carbon monoxide.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue, are quite often mistaken for the flu because the deadly gas goes undetected in a home. Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and even death. If you think you may have carbon monoxide poisoning, do not hesitate to call 911!
If you’re having a new home built or remodeling an older home, you may want to consider adding a home sprinkler system. These are already found in many apartment buildings and dormitories.