COHASSET — Chief Robert Silvia and the Cohasset Fire Department encourage residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when setting their clocks back for daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 a.m., and clocks will move back one hour at that time.
“We urge residents to check and change their smoke alarms regularly, and daylight saving time is a perfect opportunity to do so,” Chief Silvia said. “A few preventative measures now could prevent a fire in the future, and more importantly, save lives.”
The Cohasset Fire Department would like to share the following information on the “Change Your Clock, Check Your Alarms” initiative from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
What to know: “Most fatal fires occur at night when you are sleeping. Working smoke alarms give us the extra time to get out of a burning house,” State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said. “This weekend, as you change your clocks, check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.”
Fire Marshal Ostroskey added, “The pandemic is keeping people at home. Most children are learning at home, people are working from home and doing more cooking. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and working smoke alarms are key to surviving a fire. This weekend is a good time of year to replace regular batteries in your alarms, to test them, and to check for their birthdates. If they are more than 10- years old, replace the entire alarm.”
Replace Aging Smoke Alarms: “Smoke alarms, like other household appliances, don’t last forever,” said Chief Michael Newbury, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts. “Every ten years the entire alarm needs to be replaced, not just the batteries. Prevent that annoying chirp of a dying smoke alarm by regularly replacing batteries and testing the alarms.”
Carbon monoxide alarms usually need to be replaced after 5-7 years.
Replacement Alarms Should be Photoelectric With 10-year Sealed Batteries: The State Fire Code requires replacing expired battery-operated smoke alarms in older one- and two-family homes with photoelectric ones that have 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable batteries and a hush feature.
“Fire officials hope that if we make smoke alarms easier for people to maintain, they will take care of them,” Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “We see too many disabled smoke alarms in fires when people really needed them to work.”
Time Is Your Enemy in a Fire: “Working smoke alarms give you precious time to use your home escape plan before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible,” Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “Remember: smoke alarms are a sound you can live with.”
“No one expects to be a victim of a fire, but the best way to survive one that does occur is to have working smoke alarms and a practiced home escape plan,” Chief Newbury said. “In the average house fire, there are only 1-3 minutes to escape after the smoke alarm sounds. Take a few minutes to protect those you love by changing the batteries in your smoke alarms this weekend.”
Senior SAFE: Two hundred forty-eight fire departments across the state have grant-funded Senior SAFE Programs. Seniors who need help testing, maintaining or replacing smoke alarms should contact their local fire department or senior center for assistance.
The Town of Cohasset’s Senior SAFE Program is a joint effort between the Cohasset Fire Department, Cohasset Elder Affairs and the Cohasset Board of Health. Seniors in Cohasset can reach out to the Elder Affairs office for assistance and scheduling, at 781-383-9112 ext. 7319 or by emailing Director Nancy Lafauce at [email protected].
For more information on smoke alarms or the Senior SAFE Program, visit www.mass.gov/dfs.