Change your clocks — and smoke alarm batteries
NEW YORK (March 4, 2020) – As New Yorkers prepare to set their clocks forward one hour this Sunday (Daylight Saving Time), the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is urging everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Homeowners with alarms that have sealed, non-removable batteries should test the alarms to see if they are functional.
Batteries in these life-saving devices should be changed twice a year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or without working smoke alarms. Last year New York state led the nation in home fire deaths with 126 fatalities.
“Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are critical to saving lives during emergencies,” said FASNY President Steven Klein. “We encourage all New Yorkers to change their smoke and CO alarm batteries and check that they are functional. The additional time a smoke or CO alarm provides can be the difference between life and death. In addition, fire sprinkler systems are proven to save lives, and these systems should be installed whenever possible. ”
In 2019, a law was passed requiring all smoke alarms sold in the state to be equipped with sealed, non-removable batteries that will last for at least 10 years. Smoke alarms equipped with sealed, non-removable batteries are nearly impossible to disable and require little maintenance. This law is intended to reduce the high number of home fire deaths across New York state.
Safety tips provided by FASNY and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
* Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
* If you have a smoke alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months and change the batteries at least every year. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do NOT disable the unit.
* Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit.
* NEVER borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.
* NEVER paint a smoke or CO alarm.
* Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement and in or near each sleeping area.
* Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.
* Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
* Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.
(Firemen’s Association of the State of New York)