For most of the United States, March 10th marked the start of daylight saving time. We set our clocks forward by one hour and likely lost an hour of sleep. However, daylight saving time is more than just a time to change your clocks and enjoy more sun in the evening. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that everyone change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they spring forward.
Smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained can reduce the risk of property damage, injury, and death during a fire.
Batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be changed twice a year, and the alarms tested monthly.
It can also be a good idea to vacuum your alarms when you change the batteries, just in case dirt and dust is blocking the sensor.
After changing the batteries, be sure to test your alarms.
How to test your smoke detector:
Have someone assist you:
When testing a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm, have someone assist you. The alarm may sound loud to you up close, but someone in another room might not be able to hear it.
Push the test button on your smoke detector:
To test an alarm, push the test button and hold it for a few seconds. An alarm should sound. If it doesn’t, you should check to see if the new batteries don’t work. If new batteries doesn’t solve the problem, you should replace the smoke detector.
Test your sensor:
In addition to testing your smoke detectors via the test button, you’ll need to check that the sensor works. There are many aerosol sprays available for smoke detector testing. After following the instructions from the manufacturer, if your alarm doesn’t sound your detector has likely gone bad.
Where do I put smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms?
The CPSC recommends that smoke alarms be placed on every level of your home, including inside every bedroom. It is also a good idea to have a fire escape plan memorized.
Carbon monoxide alarms should also be placed on every level of your home and outside of each sleeping area. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it can kill someone within minutes.
Just remember, when you change your clocks, change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. Doing so will keep you and your family safe.