WENHAM — With daylight saving time nearing an end, Fire Chief Stephen Kavanagh and the Wenham Fire Department would like to remind residents to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when resetting their clocks next weekend.
Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 a.m., and clocks will move back one hour at that time.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), having working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying in a fire by 50 percent and, on average, three out of every five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Additionally, dead batteries are the cause of 25 percent of smoke alarm failures.
The Wenham Fire Department asks that all business owners not only change the batteries in their clocks, smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, but also 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.
“Residents should take proactive steps to protect themselves, their family and their belongings by changing the batteries in their fire and carbon monoxide alarms when they turn their clocks back,” said Chief Kavanagh. “These devices are the first line of defense in preventing a fire or a carbon monoxide-related incident.”
In order to continue to keep your home safe and prevent fires, Chief Kavanagh recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by NFPA:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace alarms immediately if they don’t respond properly when tested.
- Replace batteries in smoke and CO alarms when you change your clocks.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old. Replace CO alams according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay in that spot until emergency personnel arrive.
- Develop and practice a home escape plan with all members of the household
The battery replacement process is fairly simple and batteries can be purchased for most units at a local hardware, grocery or convenience store.
For more information on smoke alarm and CO alarm safety, visit the NFPA website or contact the Wenham Fire Department at 978-468-5508.