Check Smoke, Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries as Clocks Go Back on Sunday

By Cara Muriz

Health Day Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — As you set your clocks back on Sunday, do some simple safety checks at home that could save your life.

Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to make sure they are working. This is also a good time to change their batteries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends replacing batteries once a year until appliances have sealed 10-year batteries. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

The CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside every bedroom and outside sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be installed on every level of the house, outside sleeping areas.

Working smoke and CO alarms are always important, but even more so in this season of burning fuel for heat and spending more time indoors, the commission stressed.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can come from home heating systems, portable generators, and other CO-producing devices. CO is invisible and odorless, and CO poisoning claims the lives of more than 400 Americans a year. Most of these deaths occur between November and February.

According to the CPSC, there were an estimated 347,000 residential fires across the United States in 2019. These fires killed approximately 2,490 people, injured 11,760 and caused $7.38 billion in property damage.

CPSC recommends creating a fire escape plan that includes two exits from each room and a clear exit from each exit. Once you escape, don’t go back home.

CPSC recommends keeping bedroom doors closed to reduce potential fire spread.

Between 1980 and 2019, residential fires per household decreased by 67 percent. According to the CPSC, a 66% reduction in fire deaths per household, and a 60% reduction in fire injuries per household.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on carbon monoxide poisoning.

Source: US Consumer Product Safety Commission, News Release, November 1, 2022

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