State fire commissioner: Working smoke- and carbon-monoxide detectors save lives
State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann reminded Pennsylvanians on Friday, March 7, to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when turning their clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 9.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half, a state news release said, providing an inexpensive way to protect families. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm malfunction, the release said.
Although newer models of smoke alarms have long-lasting batteries that do not need to be replaced, thousands of homeowners still use models with standard batteries that must be replaced regularly. And no matter what type of smoke alarms are used in a home, they should be tested monthly, the release said.
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, generators and motor vehicles. Because symptoms – nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue – are often mistaken for the flu and can occur quickly, carbon-monoxide detectors can also save lives, the release said.
Mann recommends that families use this weekend when we switch to Daylight Saving Time to review and practice their home fire escape plans. Information about how to prevent fires and prepare for all types of emergencies is available online at www.ReadyPA.org, the release said.