DRACUT — Chief Richard Patterson and the Dracut Fire Department would like to remind residents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when setting their clocks back for Daylight Saving Time this weekend.
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 a.m., and clocks will move back one hour at that time.
When changing their clocks in the spring and fall, residents are also encouraged to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If the alarms take alkaline batteries, residents should change the batteries when changing their clocks. If the alarms are out of date, they should be replaced.
Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained are vital in reducing deaths and injuries due to a fire by giving everyone in the home an early warning and time to escape.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2014-2018 three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%). In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, two of every five (41%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
Residents are encouraged to review the following safety tips, courtesy of the NFPA:
•Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to ensure the alarm functions properly.
•Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
•Alarms with any other type of replaceable battery need a new battery at least once a year. When you change your clocks, also replace regular batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
oWhen replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which specify the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.
•Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. CO alarms should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
•Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
•CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom or sleeping area, on every story of the home and in other locations required by standards, codes or laws.
•People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
•For the best protection, interconnect alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
•When an alarm sounds, immediately exit the house or building and ensure each person inside the home is accounted for. Call 9-1-1, wait for emergency personnel and stay out of the building.
•Working with each member of the household, create and practice a home escape plan.
•More tips about installing and maintaining smoke alarms can be found here, and carbon monoxide alarms here.
Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms. Residents are reminded that separate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are not interchangeable and should never be disconnected.