WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is encouraging consumers to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend.
"When changing clocks this weekend for Daylight Saving Time, remember to change the batteries in smoke and CO alarms," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Fresh batteries in alarms are essential to keeping your alarm working and on guard to protect you and your family."
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, 2012.
About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don't work. CPSC also recommends that consumers test their alarms once each month and place smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom.
Fire departments responded to more than 366,700 residential fires nationwide that resulted in more than 2,300 deaths, more than 12,500 injuries, and $7.09 billion in property losses annually, on average, from 2008 through 2010.
CO alarms are equally important and should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should not be installed in attics or basements unless they include a sleeping area. Combination smoke and CO alarms are available.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that consumers cannot see or smell. There was an average of 183 unintentional, non-fire CO poisoning deaths each year from 2006 to 2008. To protect against CO poisoning, schedule an annual professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces and chimneys. Keep portable generators outside, far from the home when they are being used.
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.