Daylight Savings – Spring Ahead & Test Your Smoke/CO Detectors

We trade an hour of sleep for more daylight at the end of the day this time of year – a fair trade for most of us! It is also the twice-annual reminder to check one of the most important safety devices in your home: Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

A working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector can save your life in the event of a fire or related occurrence: smoke inhalation and a CO leak can also be deadly. Never tamper with a detector – no annoying chirp is worth risking your life by ignoring or removing the detector. Place them outside of each sleeping area, on each level of your home. Place at least 10 feet from the stove to avoid a false alarm.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, modern devices vary – which can be confusing when you go to check the batteries or even expiration of your detectors. Here’s some information from the NFPA on the various types of detectors:

  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

Click here to view “Help Protect Your Home with Working Smoke Alarms” video from the NFPA

For more information from the NFPA on smoke detectors, click here.

The American Red Cross’ ‘Sound the Alarm’ Campaign is designed to help make detectors accessible to all, regardless of income. Their procedures have changed due to the pandemic, but the mission remains the same. Click here to learn more, including if the program is currently active in your community, or to donate in support of this important initiative.