This weekend we will turn our clocks forward one hour. The Mt. Morris Fire Protection District would like to remind everyone to change the batteries in their smoke and CO detectors at the same time. Having an operating smoke detector more than doubles a person's chances of surviving a home fire. Changing batteries is a small investment to insure your family will be alerted in the case of a fire or a carbon dioxide emergency. Here are some tips for the care and maintenance of smoke and CO detectors that should be followed:
- Install smoke and CO alarms on every level of the home and outside all sleeping areas.
- For added safety, install smoke alarms in every room where people sleep.
- To increase safety, have a qualified electrician install hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
- Install a new battery in all smoke and CO alarms at least twice a year. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm “chirps” to indicate a low battery.
- Replace smoke alarms that use extended-life, lithium batteries when the alarm “chirps” or fails to respond to periodic testing. Many of these batteries are good for 10 years but it is still a great time to check their operation. The batteries in these units cannot be replaced.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. The mechanism that senses smoke and activates the alarm looses sensitivity over time.
- Replace all CO alarms when they are 7 years old. The manufacture date is listed on the bottom of the detectors.
- Test alarms every month. Use the test button, or an approved smoke substitute, and clean the units, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not use an open-flame device to test the alarm.
- Special smoke alarms are made for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These alarms use strobe lights. Vibrating devices may also help in some cases.