CPSC Urges Consumers to Replace Batteries in Smoke and CO Alarms When Turning Clocks Back
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 3
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There is no doubt that smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms can save lives. But to do their job of alerting consumers to fire or CO, alarms need fresh batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers put new batteries in their alarms this weekend when turning the clocks back one hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time.
Home fires take a heavy toll in lost lives, lasting injuries and property damage. CPSC estimates an average of 362,300 unintentional residential fires attended by the fire service, resulting in 2,260 deaths, 12,820 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage each year between 2009 and 2011.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Working smoke alarms with fresh batteries can make a real difference in lives saved and injuries prevented. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Housing Survey for 2011, only three out of four homes reported they changed the batteries in their smoke alarms in the last six months. Batteries should be replaced in alarms every year. In addition, CPSC recommends that consumers test their alarms every month to make sure that the alarms are working. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.
CO alarms are just as important as smoke alarms. If you do not have CO alarms, get them. Each year from 2007 to 2009, there were nearly 170 carbon monoxide deaths involving consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction, including portable generators and home heating systems.
Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer, because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from a variety of sources and quickly incapacitate and kill its victims.
CO alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Like smoke alarms, CO alarms need fresh batteries every year. They should be tested once a month to make sure they are working.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission