It’s Almost Time to Change Your Clocks and Smoke & CO Detector Batteries as We Spring Ahead

WBNG-TV (CBS)

New York, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When you change your clocks on Sunday, don’t forget to change your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector batteries too.

Daylight Saving Time Begins on Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 AM

The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is reminding homeowners and renters to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors at least once a year to ensure they are working properly.

This Sunday, March 13th at 2:00 A.M. we will set our clocks ahead one hour.

FASNY urges New Yorkers to use this reminder when it comes to maintaining their home detectors.

“For homeowners who did not change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the fall of last year, it is critical they do so in March,” said FASNY President David Jacobowitz. “Smoke detectors are the first line of defense against the deadly effects of fire. Install one on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in or near sleeping areas. Make sure the detectors are installed on ceilings or high up on walls; and do not install them near windows or other ventilation sources, where drafts may prevent them from working properly.”

Last year, a new carbon monoxide detector law called “Amanda’s Law” went into effect.

It requires that one-family homes, two-family homes, dwellings located in condominiums or cooperatives, and multiple dwellings have a CO detector installed, regardless of the date of construction or sale.

The detector must meet NYS standards, and be installed in an operable condition in dwellings where there are appliances or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or have an attached garage.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, every year, approximately 2,600 Americans die in home fires.

Over half of these deaths (52%) occur between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when residents are typically sleeping.

The risk of dying from a fire in a home without working smoke alarms is twice as high as in a home with working smoke alarms.

Safety tips provided by FASNY & National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • Test smoke alarms/detectors at least once a month by using detectors’ “test button.”
  • Clean the units by vacuuming or dusting in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install new batteries in all smoke alarms/CO detectors at least once a year on the day you change your clocks in the spring and fall.
  • Install a smoke alarm and CO detector near sleeping areas, as well on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Do not paint smoke alarm/CO detectors.
  • Because smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings.
  • Smoke alarms/CO detectors should not be installed near a window, door or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with their operation.
  • Notify your local fire department when your detector sounds. However, before calling, make sure to identify whether or not the device is simply sounding due to a low battery.
  • Read the detector’s packaging and instructions to understand the difference between a true emergency and a simple maintenance issue of a dead battery or an expired detector, as the detector may emit different sounds for each situation.
  • If it is a real activation, call 911 and evacuate immediately.
  • To avoid potential CO exposure, do not warm a vehicle in an enclosed garage space. During and after a snowstorm, make sure all vents connected to stoves, furnaces, and fireplaces leading outside are clear.

For more information on smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other information on fire safety and prevention visit www.fasny.com and www.nfpa.org.