Change Time, Change Batteries - A Habit That Can Save Your Life

Mar 11, 2016, 12:36 ET from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Spring is right around the corner, so you know what that means – spring forward when changing the time on your clocks. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 13. This weekend is also a good time to take steps to make sure your household is prepared for emergencies. In addition to turning the time on your clocks one hour ahead, CPSC is urging consumers to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.

"A few minutes spent preparing for an emergency in your home can keep you out of the emergency room," said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. "Fresh batteries in smoke and CO alarms can be lifesaving."

Unless you have 10-year batteries, the batteries in alarms should be replaced every year. Alarms should be tested monthly to make sure they are working properly. CO is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that consumers cannot see or smell. Working smoke and CO alarms can help protect your family from a fire or carbon monoxide (CO) hazard in your home. Every home needs working alarms to provide an early warning.

Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms. CO alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.

Between 2010 and 2012, there was an average of 360,400 unintentional residential fires, resulting in about 2,200 deaths, 13,000 injuries and nearly $6.5 billion in property damages each year.   

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2010, an average of 430 non-fire carbon monoxide deaths occur annually.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or homes without working smoke alarms.

Remember, almost every day a smoke and CO alarm saves somebody's life. Preparing and practicing an escape plan can buy your family valuable time to escape from a fire or dangerous level of carbon monoxide.

About U.S. CPSC:
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 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, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m.5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.

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SOURCE U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission