Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 3
WASHINGTON, D.C. – There is no doubt that smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms can save lives. But to do their job of alerting consumers to fire or CO, alarms need fresh batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers put new batteries in their alarms this weekend when turning the clocks back one hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time.
Home fires take a heavy toll in lost lives, lasting injuries and property damage. CPSC estimates an average of 362,300 unintentional residential fires attended by the fire service, resulting in 2,260 deaths, 12,820 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage each year between 2009 and 2011.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Working smoke alarms with fresh batteries can make a real difference in lives saved and injuries prevented. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey for 2011, only three out of four homes reported they changed the batteries in their smoke alarms in the last six months. Batteries should be replaced in alarms every year. In addition, CPSC recommends that consumers test their alarms every month to make sure that the alarms are working. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.
CO alarms are just as important as smoke alarms. If you do not have CO alarms, get them. Each year from 2007 to 2009, there were nearly 170 carbon monoxide deaths involving consumer products under CPSC’s jurisdiction, including portable generators and home heating systems.
Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer, because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from a variety of sources and quickly incapacitate and kill its victims.
CO alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Like smoke alarms, CO alarms need fresh batteries every year. They should be tested once a month to make sure they are working.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at 301-595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to http://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Subscribe/ (http://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Subscribe/). Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov (http://www.cpsc.gov).