The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 7, 2014

Experts urge residents to change smoke alarm batteries

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday

EDMOND — Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms may rate pretty low on the exciting things to do scale, but it’s a simple act that can save lives.

Local fire officials and federal agencies like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urge citizens to make a habit of replacing batteries in these devices when the time changes. U.S. Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday and ends at 2 a.m. Nov. 2.

When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working alarms provide an early warning so residents can get outside of their homes. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. The organization also recommends:

• Installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, including your basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds they all sound.

• Alarms should be placed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.

• For best protection install a combination alarm. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires. Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to smoldering fires. Alarms with both options are available.

• Smoke alarms and alert devices are available for people who are deaf. Strobe lights throughout the home are activated by smoke alarms. When people who are deaf are asleep, a high intensity strobe is required along with a pillow or bed shaker activated by the sound of a standard smoke alarm to wake them up and alert them so they can escape. Recent research shows that a loud, mixed low-pitched sound is more effective for waking people of all ages than the loud high-pitched sound of a traditional smoke alarm. As people age, their ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases.

• Replace all alarms when they are 10 years old.

Research the available products and select the one that best meets your individual needs, the NFPA recommends.

Under federal law, beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the annual time changes save energy, save lives and prevent traffic injuries by giving citizens more time to complete chores in daylight and prevent crime by reducing exposure to incident more common in darkness.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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