Senator Andrew Lanza today reminded New Yorkers to test and install fresh, new batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors when they change their clocks on Sunday, March 9th.
“As we set our clocks ahead this weekend, I encourage all New Yorkers to take a few minutes to safeguard their families and homes from the threat of fires and carbon monoxide,” Lanza said. “Working alarms are essential in saving lives and testing their batteries on a regular basis is an easy, but important step that can help prevent future tragedy.”
Working smoke and CO alarms provide early warnings of dangerous situations and can provide the extra time you need to escape safely. However, these alarms may not do their job if homeowners and renters don’t test them regularly to make sure that they are operating properly. Working alarms significantly increases your chances of surviving these deadly situations. Many fire departments throughout New York State continue to respond to calls in homes each year where there are no working alarms present.
Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said, “You are more than four times as likely to perish in a fire without a working smoke alarm. However, only half of those who own a smoke alarm say that they take the time to check it regularly.”’
Bryant D. Stevens, New York State Fire Administrator said, “While we may be sad to lose that hour of sleep as we set the clocks forward on Sunday, we can all sleep better knowing that we have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms watching over us. In case of a fire, you may have as little as three minutes to get out of your home and in the case of carbon monoxide poisoning, the odorless and colorless gas doesn’t give us any warning.”
Senator Lanza recommends that New Yorkers take the following steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones:
Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement and install CO alarms at every sleeping level and in areas where potential CO producing devices exist.
· For the best protection, interconnect all alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
· Replace batteries at least annually and replace all alarms every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
· Test all alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
For more information on smoke and CO alarms and other home fire safety tips, visit the Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s website at www.dhses.ny.gov/OFPC.