As we set our clocks one hour ahead for daylight saving time, there are a couple of other household devices that need your attention. The Division of Fire and Life Safety says fire and carbon monoxide alarms are two of the most important safety devices in the house and in order for them to work properly they need adequate power.
"Smoke alarms should be replaced and changed out at least every ten years," the Division's Education Coordinator Mahlon Greene said. "After seven to 10 years they don't always function as well when they're newer and with the long-life lithium battery, you don't have to change out the battery. Just keep the alarm clean and tested once a month."
But it's not just smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be changed like clockwork. It's these detectors that can make the difference between life and death.
"The very first thing that kills people over house fires is being overcome with smoke," AFD Station 3 Captain Jeff McDonald said. "When you hear the beeps that's when the smoke first registers on a detector. This gives you time to escape the house. Once you start smelling it, feeling it or seeing, it's too late."
Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be powered by battery or they are wired to the residence's power. If the power goes out in the residence, the alarms are useless so a fresh battery is always a must.
"It's a giant nose that you put on the wall or the ceiling," McDonald said. "The advantage it has over your real nose is it works 24 hours a day. when we sleep our sense of smell goes out the door. So I can't rely on that sense to let me know there's something burning in the house. The smoke detector will still work throughout the middle of the night. It's still doing its job and all it asks for is a battery every six months."
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