Fire Safety Tips: when changing clocks for Daylight Saving Time, remember to put fresh batteries in smoke alarms. Keep cigarettes, matches, lighters, and candles away from children who might unintentionally start a fire.
"Everyone needs a smoke alarm with a fresh battery on every level of the house and in every bedroom," Chairman Stratton said. CPSC posted fire safety tips (below) and will distribute fire safety information to urban and rural communities at risk. In addition, Commission field offices will work with state and local officials to promote fire safety and encourage consumers to maintain working smoke alarms in their homes.
Each year, 2,850 people die in residential fires, 15,000 people are injured, and there are more than 353,500 residential fires reported to fire departments. Property losses each year are $3.8 billion. Reducing this fire toll is a priority for CPSC. The Commission has set standards to make lighters child-resistant. CPSC encourages the installation of safety devices to reduce the risk of fires from electrical wiring. CPSC also worked with industry to develop a new voluntary standard including a warning label for candles and other features to address stability, flame height, secondary ignition, and other issues to help prevent candle fires.
"Our mission is to make sure products are as safe as possible," said Chairman Stratton. "Consumers should keep ignition sources away from children, install and maintain smoke alarms, and develop and practice a fire escape plan."
Although fewer than 10 percent of homes have no smoke alarms, millions more do not have working alarms. CPSC recommends consumers test each smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working properly. Smoke alarms with 10-year batteries have been available to consumers since 1995. These alarms with long-life batteries also should be tested monthly. CPSC also recommends that every home should have a carbon monoxide alarm near every sleeping area, and consumers need to regularly test and replace batteries in CO alarms too.
CPSC has worked to strengthen smoke alarm performance and installation requirements and is studying ways to make the alarms more effective in waking children and alerting older people.
Over a 10-year period (1990 through 1999), there was a decline in fire-related deaths. In 1990 there were approximately 3,400 deaths, but in 1999 there were approximately 2,400 deaths. This decline in deaths can be attributed, in part, to CPSC and industry standards for cigarette-resistant mattresses and upholstered furniture, heating and cooking equipment, electrical products, general wearing apparel, children’s sleepwear, child-resistant lighters, fireworks, smoke alarms, and residential sprinklers. CPSC has designated fire safety as one of three top priorities for the next five years, with the goal of reducing fire deaths further.
CPSC recommends consumers follow these tips to help prevent fires:
-Install and maintain smoke alarms
-Maintain and properly use gas and electrical appliances
-Keep matches and lighters away from children
-Develop and practice a fire escape plan
Consumers can also view a video clip about fire safety (standard version or a higher quality version - broadband connection recommended) (transcript) . This is in "streaming video" format.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.