Remember everyone… it’s almost time to spring our clocks forward (Sunday, March 11th @ 2:00 AM), and is a GREAT time to replace (or at least check) all the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors! It’s also a great time to check your fire extinguishers as well, although they should really be checked once a month. In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 365,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,560 deaths, 11,075 civilian injuries, and $7 billion in direct damage. On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day. According to the CDC, an average of 340 deaths per year are attributed to home carbon monoxide poisoning. DON’T be in that number. Changing your batteries in these devices is a small cost for the safety of you and your loved ones!
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more then 80 percent of all civilian fire deaths are the result of home structure fires, and kitchens are the leading area of origin for these fires. Functioning smoke alarms and portable fire extinguishers have proven effective in reducing the risk of death in home fires.
Smoke alarms should be located in each sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on each level. Ideally, they should be tested on a monthly basis to ensure they are still operational. Just because the indicator light is on, doesn’t mean they are working. Give them a test!
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned because of insufficient oxygen. Wood fires and charcoal grills produce large amounts of carbon monoxide, as do malfunctioning heating systems. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying agent in red blood cells. When oxygen is robbed from the brain and other organs, death can result. In addition, up to 40% of survivors of severe CO poisoning develop memory impairment and other serious illnesses. Many cases of reported CO poisoning indicate that victims are aware that they are not well but become so disoriented that they are unable to save themselves. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. There is only one safe and reliable way to detect carbon monoxide in your home – install a carbon monoxide alarm!
In homes with attached garages, and/or, fuel-burning appliances carbon monoxide alarms should be installed:
– One alarm within 15 feet of each sleeping area
– One alarm on each floor of a multi level dwelling
– One alarm within each bedroom containing a fuel-burning appliance (i.e. fireplace)
These are just the basics and of course, more can be found all over the internet. Put it on your calendar and do these things regularly! You NEVER want to find out the hard way!!!