“Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries”
NORTH HAVEN — Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department encourage residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when setting their clocks back for daylight saving time.
Daylight saving ends Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m.
“Testing and changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are quick and easy habits that can prevent fires and save lives,” Chief Januszewski said. “We encourage all of our residents to change the batteries inside their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks for daylight saving time.”
According to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), working smoke detectors decrease the risk of dying in home fires by nearly half. Additionally, in many reported home fires in which smoke detectors were present but did not operate, the batteries had been removed or the detector was disconnected due to dead battery alerts or nuisance alarms.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke detectors (38%) or no working smoke detectors (21%). Additionally, dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke detector failures.
The North Haven Fire Department also asks that all business owners not only change their clocks, but also change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace the batteries on wall mounted emergency lights and exit signs. All businesses should have emergency backup lighting as a safety feature to provide temporary lighting in case of power failure.
In order to keep your family and home safe, North Haven Fire recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by IAFF:
- Install smoke detectors inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install detectors in a central location or near the stairway to the upper level. Smoke detectors should be installed at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to minimize false detectors.
- CO detectors should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. Standard smoke detectors do not detect carbon monoxide.
- CO is known as the invisible killer, it is colorless and odorless. It may also affect adults, children and pets differently.
- For the best protection, interconnect all smoke detectors. When one smoke detector sounds they all sound. CO detectors can also be interconnected.
- Test smoke and CO detectors at least once per month using the test button.
- Smoke detectors with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the detector chirps warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke detector right away.
- Smoke and CO detectors with replaceable batteries need a new battery at least once per year. Replace batteries during daylight saving time or if the detector chirps warning that the battery is low.
- When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s list of usable batteries on the back of the detector. Manufacturer instructions are specific to the batteries that must be used and the detector may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.
- Replace all smoke detectors according to the date on the back or when they reach 10 years old. Replace CO detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of a smoke and CO detector and knows how to respond.
The North Haven Fire Department would also like to remind residents that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are not interchangeable and should never be disconnected. The best practice for checking your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors is to do so monthly.
From Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Nov. 13, the North Haven Fire Department will be offering free 9-volt batteries for North Haven residents. Residents interested in receiving 9-volt batteries can pick them up at the Fire Headquarters, 11 Broadway, North Haven, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Supplies are limited.
For more information on smoke detector and CO detector safety, visit the IAFF website or contact the North Haven Fire Department at 203-239-5321.