Harrisburg – Pennsylvanians are reminded to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they move their clocks ahead by one hour this weekend, State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann said.
“Buying, installing and maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are among the cheapest things you can do to protect yourself and your family,” Mann said. “Thousands of lives have been saved.”
After replacing the batteries, homeowners should test the alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, especially inside each bedroom and hallways near sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide, or CO, detectors should also be installed near sleeping areas.
Mann suggested replacing a smoke alarm if it’s more than 10 years old, even if it seems to work properly. The useful life of a smoke alarm is usually 10 years.
After making sure the alarms work properly, Mann recommends creating and practicing a home fire escape plan. Each member of the household should be able to identify more than one way to get out of the home and reach a meeting place away from the home, such as a neighbor’s porch or a telephone pole across the street, so that each person can be accounted for in an emergency.
“A home fire escape plan should also be reviewed and practiced on a regular basis, particularly if the makeup of the family has changed or a new addition has been put on the house,” Mann said. “This can also happen twice a year when the batteries are changed.”
More information about fire prevention and safety is available online at www.ReadyPA.org. For more information about the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the fire service in Pennsylvania, visit www.osfc.state.pa.us