PLATTSBURGH — If you didn’t change the batteries in your smoke- and carbon-monoxide detectors when you moved your clock ahead an hour for Daylight Saving Time, today is still a good time to do it.
Batteries in the devices should be changed at least once each year to ensure they are in good working order, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York says.
“It is critical that all homeowners change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend,” said association President Jim Burns in a press release. “Smoke detectors are the first line of defense against the deadly effects of fire.”
Every year, about 2,600 Americans die in house fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
More than half of those deaths occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., when residents are typically sleeping, the release said. And the risk of dying in a fire in a home without working smoke alarms is twice as high as in one without them.
Here are some safety tips from the Firemen’s Association and the National Fire Protection Association:
▶ Install a smoke alarm and carbon-monoxide detector near sleeping areas and on every level of the home, including the basement.
▶ Test smoke alarms and detectors at least once a month by using detectors’ test button.
▶ Clean the units by vacuuming or dusting according to manufacturer’s instructions.
▶ Install new batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors at least once a year, on the day you change your clocks in the spring or fall.
▶ Do not paint smoke alarms or carbon-monoxide detectors.
▶ Because smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings.
▶ Smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors should not be installed near a window, door or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with their operation.