TURN Your Clocks Back, TEST Your Smoke Alarms & CO2 Detectors Too!

As people turn their clocks back this weekend for the end of daylight saving time, Oceanside Restoration asks everyone to also test their smoke alarms and CO2 alarms too. Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster and tragically take seven lives every day in this country.

During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. As the clocks “fall back” when daylight saving time ends on Sunday, November 6, it’s also the perfect time to test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed.

In addition to testing your smoke alarms this weekend, follow these three steps get your home ready:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  2. Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  3. Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — that’s the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out of every room. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in you

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey suggested that times spent changing clocks is the perfect opportunity to check in with your alarms as well and make sure everything is working properly.

“Working smoke and CO alarms are key to surviving a fire or carbon monoxide leak,” he said. “As we ‘fall back’ this weekend, remember to check your alarms when you change your clocks. Unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries, this is a good time to replace the alkaline batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms or replace the entire device if it’s more than 10 years old.”

Ostroskey emphasized the importance of checking in with CO alarms as we move into winter.“Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States,” he said. “The primary sources of carbon monoxide in the home are furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances. We can’t see, smell, or taste carbon monoxide, so it’s important to have working CO alarms to alert you to this invisible killer.”

Fire officials suggested checking in with smoke alarms as well to see if it’s time to change them.

”Smoke alarms are like any other household appliances: they don’t last forever,” Chief Michael Winn, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts said. “Alarm manufacturing dates are printed on the back of the device. Smoke alarms usually need to be replaced after 10 years, and carbon monoxide alarms after five to seven years. If the date on your alarm is more than 10 years ago, or if there’s no date at all, it’s time to replace it.”
State fire code requires replacement battery-operated smoke alarms in older one- and two-family homes to be photoelectric and have 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable batteries, and a hush feature, according to authorities.
“We see too many disabled smoke alarms at fire scenes where people really needed them to work,” Ostroskey said. “Fire officials hope that if smoke alarms are easier to maintain, like those with long-life batteries, people will keep them in use rather than disabling them or forgetting to change out the batteries.”