HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann today reminded Pennsylvanians to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when turning their clocks back this weekend.
"Smoke alarms are the cheapest and best way to ensure you are alerted to a possible fire in your home, and those extra seconds of warning can save lives," Mann said. "Changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be part of your seasonal home maintenance, and doing it the weekend we change clocks is a good habit to start."
Changing the batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tragic deaths and injuries. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction.
Carbon monoxide is created when combustible materials burn incompletely. Often called "the silent killer," it is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can incapacitate victims before they're aware they've been exposed. Sources include wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired appliances, grills, generators and motor vehicles.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.
Mann said this weekend is also a good time for families to review and practice their home fire escape plans.
Information about how to prevent fires and prepare for all types of emergencies is available online at www.ReadyPA.org. For more information about the fire service in Pennsylvania, visit www.osfc.state.pa.us, or call 1-800-670-3473.
Ruth A. Miller, OSFC; 717-651-2009
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner