“Spring Forward”, Change Your Clocks, Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
Sunday, March 13th, 2016 we “spring forward” and set our clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Savings Time. As we do this, The Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company reminds citizens to take this opportunity to check batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke. Smoke alarms can alert you and your family to a fire twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s critical that these life-saving devices are checked and tested frequently. Early warning in the event of a fire can provide invaluable seconds you may need to get out of your home.
Remember, smoke alarms must be maintained! A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. Most smoke alarms use alkaline batteries which require regular replacement but now alarms are available that utilize a 10 year lithium battery, reducing the frequency with which batteries are replaced. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke alarms are in top shape:
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
- Clean away any dust or debris from the unit.
- Replace batteries according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Completely replace alarm after 10 years or sooner if it does not respond properly when tested.
In addition to regular testing and maintenance of your smoke alarms, develop and practice a home escape plan so that everyone in the home knows what to do if an alarm sounds. Have two ways out and a meeting place outside.
Our on-going smoke alarm campaign offers free home safety inspections and smoke alarms to all Warrenton Area residents. If your smoke alarms are broken or outdated the department will replace them with battery powered alarms at no cost and install additional alarms as necessary. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the station at 540-347-0522 or visit www.warrentonfire.org for additional information.
Just as critical to your family’s safety are properly installed and maintained carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can be fatal at relatively low levels. It’s recommended that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. If the CO alarm sounds evacuate immediately and call 911. If you suspect CO poisoning and feel dizzy, light-headed, or have flu-like symptoms, call 911.