News for Immediate Release
March 8, 2012
Change Clocks, Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Detectors this Weekend
Harrisburg – State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann today urged residents to change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they turn their clocks forward this weekend.
“It’s a message that’s repeated twice a year, and that’s because it’s important for people to realize that this simple step takes just a few minutes and it saves lives,” Mann said.
Working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction. Changing the batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tragic deaths and injuries.
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 appliances, grills, and motor vehicles. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.
Before installing a detector or an alarm, Mann suggested writing the purchase date inside the unit. Whether a unit is battery-powered or hardwired, it should be replaced every 8-10 years.
Mann said this weekend also serves as an ideal time for families to review their home evacuation plans; planning two ways to escape from each room and practicing escape routes with the entire family.
Information about how to prevent fires and prepare for emergencies is available online atwww.ReadyPA.org. For more information on the fire service in Pennsylvania, visitwww.osfc.state.pa.us, or call 1-800-670-3473.
Media contact: Ruth A. Miller, 717-651-2009