HARRISBURG, Pa., March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay is reminding you to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when changing your clocks this weekend.
"You should get into the habit of changing your clocks and batteries, and practicing your home fire escape plan with your family all in the same weekend," Solobay said. "These simple things are among the best steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe if there's a fire in your home."
Solobay said working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half, and 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 fireplaces, appliances, grills and generators, and motor vehicles.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.
Newer models of smoke alarms have long-lasting batteries that do not need to be replaced, but thousands of homeowners still use models that use standard batteries that must be replaced regularly.
No matter what type of smoke alarms are used in a home, they should be tested monthly – including hard-wired units connected to the home's electrical system. Homeowners should consider buying new alarms to replace units that are more than ten years old.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner