CHANGE YOUR CLOCK, CHANGE
AUTOMATIC MONTHLY E-MAIL REMINDER AVAILABLE
March 05, 2009
Alaska State Fire Marshal
David Tyler is reminding Alaskans to check the batteries in their
smoke and CO (carbon monoxide) alarms when they change their
clock for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday. Tyler also reminds
the public of a program that is available free of charge through
The Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety. Alaskans can go
to The Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety's web site at
www.akburny.com and click on a "smoke alarm reminder"
link. On this site they can sign up for a free monthly e-mail
reminder to check their smoke alarms.
Many homes have smoke and CO
alarms with batteries that should be replaced at least twice
annually. Daylight Savings Time can serve as a reminder to check
smoke and CO alarms and change the batteries. With the development
of long-life lithium battery powered alarms, the batteries have
a life span of up to 10 years, so you may not need to replace
this type of battery as often. The National Fire Protection Association
suggests that 90% of American homes are equipped with smoke alarms
but over 50% of them are not in working condition. "The
key is to take a few minutes to check, test and clean your smoke
and CO alarms to make sure they are functioning properly, and
what better time to do this than when you change your clock for
Daylight Savings Time", Tyler said.
It is important to remember
that manufacturer's guidelines for smoke and CO alarm installation,
testing, cleaning, and replacing batteries should be followed.
However, general recommendations are as follows:
- Install smoke alarms in your
home if you do not currently have them. An alarm located between
the sleeping area and the living area offers a minimum amount
of protection. For maximum protection, install an alarm in every
room, on every level of your home.
- Install at least one CO alarm
on each level of your home
- Smoke and CO alarms loose
sensitivity over time and should be replaced. The approximate
lifespan of an alarm is 7 to10 years.
- At least once a month, press
the test button to check your alarm. If the alarm doesn't sound,
replace the batteries. If this doesn't solve the problem, replace
the unit. Keep in mind that batteries should be changed at least
twice a year. Start this practice to coincide with Daylight
- Periodically clean smoke and
CO alarms using a vacuum attachment. This removes particles
that could interfere with the alarm's proper operation.
- When a "chirping"
sound is noted, this is a sign that the batteries are weak and
should be replaced.
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