SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder and the Swansea Fire Department would like to remind residents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when setting their clocks back for daylight saving time this weekend.
Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 a.m., and clocks will move back one hour at that time.
During this time, residents are encouraged to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that they are working properly and change their batteries if needed.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%). In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, two of every five (41%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
The Swansea Fire Department also asks that all business owners not only change their clocks, but also change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, 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.
To keep residents’ homes safe and prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning, Chief Hajder recommends these safety tips from the NFPA:
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month, pressing the test button to ensure the alarm functions properly.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- Alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. When you change your clocks, also replace regular batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Smoke alarms have a shelf life of 10 years. Be sure to replace them after 10 years of use.
- CO alarms should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately exit the house or building and move outside to an area of fresh air, ensuring each person inside the home is accounted for. Then call for help and await instructions from emergency personnel.
- Working with each member of the household, create and practice a home escape plan.
The Swansea Fire Department would also like to remind residents that carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are not interchangeable and should never be disconnected. The best practice for checking your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms is to do so monthly.
For more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarm safety, visit the NFPA website or contact the Swansea Fire Department at 508-672-4305.