Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries This Weekend

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay is reminding Pennsylvanians to change the batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes when changing their clocks this weekend.

“We spring our clocks ahead this weekend, so take a few minutes out of your day to do something that could very well save the lives of your loved ones,” said Solobay. “Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and they save lives by giving you precious time to get out of the house before you’re incapacitated.”

Solobay said working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction.

Carbon monoxide is created when combustible materials burn incompletely. Often called “the silent killer,” it is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can incapacitate victims before they’re aware they’ve been exposed. Sources include wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired fireplaces, appliances, grills and generators, and motor vehicles.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.

Newer models of smoke alarms have long-lasting batteries that do not need to be replaced, but thousands of homeowners still use models that use standard batteries that must be replaced regularly.

No matter what type of smoke alarms are used in a home, they should be tested monthly – including hard-wired units connected to the home’s electrical system. Homeowners should consider buying new alarms to replace units that are more than ten years old.

Solobay said this weekend is also a good time for families to review and practice their home fire escape plans.

Information about how to prevent fires and prepare for all types of emergencies is available online at www.ReadyPA.org.

For more information about the fire service in Pennsylvania, visit www.osfc.state.pa.us, or call 1-800-670-3473.


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