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March 6, 2015 - 1:55pm

Fire department: 'Change time on Sunday along with smoke and CO detector batteries'

posted by Billie Owens in safety, daylight savings time.

Press release from City of Batavia Fire Department:

Remember that as you change your clocks ahead on Sunday, March 8, it’s the perfect time to change the batteries in home smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors, as well.

Even “hard-wired” smoke detectors that are plugged in to the home’s electrical supply typically have a nine-volt backup battery to keep the detectors operating in case of a power outage. Often they will “chirp” when the batteries are dying – that means to change the batteries don’t disconnect or disable the devices!

While changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, make sure to test the audible alarm by pushing the button; check that the vents are clean and not clogged with dust; and check the manufacture date. Typically, detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

At least one smoke alarm should be placed on every level of the home. The most important location is near the bedrooms to provide an early warning to all sleeping occupants. A smoke alarm should also be placed inside every bedroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly install a smoke alarm.

Smoke detectors, plain and simply, save lives. Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire.

In addition to changing your smoke alarm batteries this weekend the City of Batavia Fire Department recommends following these simple steps to protect your life, your loved ones and your home:

  • Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when you change the batteries;
  • Test alarms once a month using the test button;
  • Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested;
  • Make sure everyone in your home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

Finally, prepare and practice an escape plan so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely should there be a fire. Plan to meet in a place a safe distance from the fire and where first responders can easily see you.

The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm and battery installation program. For information about the free smoke alarm and battery installation program, City of Batavia residents should contact the City of Batavia Fire Department at (585) 345-6375.

Ed Hartgrove
Ed Hartgrove's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

In the fire department's press release, it stated, "While changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, make sure to test the audible alarm by pushing the button;"
While THAT is a very good rule, one that should DEFINITELY be heeded, I have another rule that I've been using for many years.

Back when the manufacturers started placing "test buttons" on their detectors, I took one apart to see just what "makes 'em work". I found that, in some of the original detectors, the "test button" was little more than a battery/horn tester. When the button was pushed, an electrical circuit was "closed", thereby sending power from the battery to the horn/beeper. Which is OK, if you're only testing power & beeper.

From that day forward, I made it a rule to FURTHER test the device by allowing a very small amount of smoke to enter the device, thereby testing it's "SMOKE detection".

Of course, one would hope that manufacturers have since tackled that "problem", but, I'm not relying on just the "test button". I want to be SURE that it detects "smoke", not just the closure of a circuit.

Call me paranoid, but call me alive.

Brian Schollard
Brian Schollard's picture
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: Oct 19 2008 - 9:46am

I would like to remind every one the CO detectors only last about 7 years. They continuously monitor your house air for Carbon Monoxide and the sensor will build up execs CO thus causing it to alarm. Most house detectors will go off at 75 parts per million. The vast majority of CO alarms calls are for faulty detectors! ( all at 3 AM )
I would rather get up in the middle of the night for that then have to drag a severely sick or dead person from a house.

The following is taken from the consumer product safety commission's website

"What CO level is dangerous to my health?

The health effects of CO depend on the CO concentration and length of exposure, as well as each individual's health condition. CO concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). Most people will not experience any symptoms from prolonged exposure to CO levels of approximately 1 to 70 ppm but some heart patients might experience an increase in chest pain. As CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable and can include headache, fatigue and nausea. At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible."

Check your batteries and CHECK THE DATE on the detector if its old, Throw it away and go buy a new one they are cheap $30 for a new detector or $8000 for a funeral easy choice

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