Check the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries when the clocks go back on Sunday

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By Cara Murez

Health Day Reporter

THURSDAY, November 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — As you turn back your clocks on Sunday, you’re performing some simple home security checks that could save your life.

Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to make sure they are working. This is also a good time to replace the batteries.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends replacing batteries once a year unless devices have sealed 10-year batteries. The smoke detector itself should be replaced every 10 years.

The CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on all levels of the home, in each bedroom and outside sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed on each floor of the home outside of the sleeping areas.

Working smoke and CO alarms are always important, but even more so at this time of year when fuel is being burned for warmth and more time is being spent at home, the commission stressed.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can come from heating systems, portable generators, and other CO-producing devices. CO is invisible and odorless, and CO poisoning kills more than 400 people annually in the United States. Most of these deaths occur between November and February.

According to the CPSC, there were an estimated 347,000 home fires in the United States in 2019. These fires resulted in approximately 2,490 deaths, 11,760 injuries, and $7.38 billion in property damage.

The CPSC recommends creating an escape route plan that includes two exits from each room and a clear route out from each exit. Once you escape, don’t return to the house.

Keep bedroom doors closed to slow the spread of a potential fire, the CPSC suggests.

Between 1980 and 2019 there was a 67% decrease in home fires per household; according to the CPSC, a 66% reduction in fire deaths per household and a 60% reduction in burn injuries per household.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on carbon monoxide poisoning.

SOURCE: US Consumer Product Safety Commission, press release, November 1, 2022

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