CPSC Urges Consumers to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries When Changing Clocks for Daylight Saving Time
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to change their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clock for Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, April 6. CPSC estimates that about 16 million homes in the U.S. have smoke alarms that do not work. In most cases, the batteries are dead or missing.
In a recent year, nearly 2,700 people died and more than 15,000 were injured because of fires that started in their homes. These fires resulted in property losses of more than $3.5 billion. Children are particularly vulnerable. Each year about 700 children under the age of 15 die of fire-related causes and about 400 of these deaths are to children under the age of 5 years. Most deaths occur from fires that start at night while families are asleep. Four times as many victims die from inhaling smoke and toxic gases as from burns.
"The Commission works to prevent fires by developing and enforcing safety standards for products. For example, we have federal standards for child-resistant cigarette lighters, for wearing apparel, for children's sleepwear, and for carpets and rugs," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "We are working on standards to prevent fires for products such as water heaters and electrical wiring. But, if a fire starts, you need a working smoke alarm to warn you and save your life."
A CPSC goal to reduce the death rate from fires is one of the strategic areas in which the agency is focussing its efforts. "Through safety standards for products, we hope to prevent fires from starting," said Stratton. "We continually work to strengthen smoke alarm performance and installation requirements. Additionally, we are currently studying the audibility of smoke alarms with young children and older people to help improve reliability and effectiveness."
About 90 percent of U.S. households have smoke alarms installed. However, a CPSC survey estimated that 20 percent of those households, about 16 million, did not have any working alarms. CPSC recommends consumers test each smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working properly. Change batteries at least once a year. Long-life smoke alarms with 10-year batteries have been available to consumers since 1995. These long-life alarms also should be tested monthly.
CPSC recommends consumers place smoke alarms that meet the requirements of a professional testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), on each level of multi-story homes outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
Bjarney, Sven, I've lost count of the number of times I've been to the house of an Elderly person, whose smoke alarm battery has gone flat and they can't work out what the chirping sound is. One guy had been opening and closing the door, thinking it was the doorbell!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green
10.4.5.1 Testing. Household fire alarm systems shall be tested by a qualified service technician at least every 3 years according to the methods of Table 10.4.2.2.
10.4.5.2 Maintenance. Maintenance of household fire alarm systems shall be conducted according to manufacturer’s instructions.
10.4.6 Replacement of Smoke Alarms in One- and Two-Family Dwellings.
Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer, single- and multiple-station smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests, but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.
10.4.7 Battery Replacement.
Where batteries are used as a source of energy, they shall be replaced in accordance with the recommendations of the alarm equipment manufacturer.
A man and wife were killed in a housefire this past Friday in our little town. As sad as this is,there were no smoke alarms in this 30 yr.old house. There are no building inspections in our county,and I don't know if smoke alarms could have prevented this loss of life,but I feel like this should be a wake up call for our little community. Smoke alarms are cheap insurance. How many people do you know that have no smoke alarms? Russell
Do you change the batteries in AC/DC detectors also? (AC power battery backup). I just been changing em when the things start beeping at you because good 9V battery are expensive and to change 6 batteries at once is a pain in the A$$ especially in a house with 6 smoke detectors and an 8ft ceilings.