ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With Daylight Savings Time a week away, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is urging everyone to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

New Yorkers, as well as other states, will set their clocks forward one hour on March 12, and the FASNY wants to remind homeowners to test their alarms and detectors.

FASNY says homeowners with alarms that have sealed and non-removable batteries should test their alarm to see if it is functional, as well as check its expiration date. Those with alarms that require replaceable batteries should replace the batteries and test the alarm.

New York State leads the nation in home fire deaths, according to FASNY, with 36 deaths in the first two months of 2023.

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) says three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, or in homes that do not have them installed.

New York State has banned the sale of smoke alarms with removable batteries. The FASNY says this was to increase public safety, but these kinds of devices require diligence to make sure their alarms are working.

The FASNY says there is legislation that could allow for home life safety products — including smoke detectors — to be tax exempt.

The FASNY, with the NFPA, offer these tips:

  • Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button. 
  • If you have an alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year. 
  • If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do not disable the unit. 
  • Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit. 
  • Never borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.  
  • Never paint a smoke or CO alarm. 
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in, or near each sleeping area.  
  • Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.  
  • Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries. 

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