COLUMBUS, Ohio — The end of daylight saving time is at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5 is a perfect reminder to not only move clocks back an hour but also test each of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon urges everyone to check their home’s smoke alarms regularly and replace them when they expire.
“We see the life-threatening impact properly functioning smoke alarms can have when the worst happens,” Reardon said. “Working smoke alarms can save lives, cutting your risk of dying in a house fire in half.”
Along with ensuring all smoke alarms have a fresh set of batteries, checking the expiration date is crucial in early fire detection. To find out how old a smoke alarm is, as well as its expiration date, look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked.
The smoke alarm should be replaced ten years from that date. Any alarms with a manufacture date of 2013 or earlier should be replaced.
For improved protection, install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.
Homeowners are also encouraged to develop an escape plan with two ways out and ensure every family member knows what to do and where to meet outside if the smoke alarm sounds.
Taking the time to practice a primary and secondary escape plan is vital for knowing what to do if a real emergency occurs.
Carbon monoxide, known as the silent killer, is a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and can kill you without warning. Carbon monoxide cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detector.
These detectors are available in plug-in, battery-operated, or hardwire models. Have alarms located on every level of your home or at least one near the sleeping area.
They may be installed at any level or on the ceiling. Ceiling mounts should be away from smoke detectors so you can quickly identify which detector is alarming. Change your batteries twice yearly and follow all manufacturer’s instructions to maintain your detectors in good working order.
A CO does not replace a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms sound before a CO detector can react, allowing for more time to escape. Learn more about carbon monoxide here.
Smoke and CO alarms save lives, but only if they work correctly. See additional fire prevention resources here.