ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — As Daylight Savings Time ends on November 7, you should change your clocks as well as check your smoke alarms. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is reminding residents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
FASNY said to check the batteries and test your alarms. Alarms with removable batteries should have their batteries replaced.
In 2019, New York led the nation in home fire deaths with 126 fatalities. The number has since decreased, but is still high. FASNY said 77 people have died in home fires during 2021. The upcoming winter season is typically the busiest time of year for home fires.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms or in homes lacking smoke alarms. A quarter of all smoke alarm failures are caused by dead batteries.
“Every second counts in a fire. Smoke alarms provide a critical warning that can help people escape during an emergency–but only if they are working properly,” said FASNY President John P. Farrell. “All smoke alarms should be tested monthly. If your smoke alarm has removable batteries, make sure you change them twice a year to ensure that they are functioning.”
A state law went into effect in 2019 that banned the sale of smoke alarms with removable batteries. New smoke alarms must be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home. If you’re not sure when you last replaced the batteries, or bought a smoke alarm, FASNY encourages you to purchase a new one with 10-year batteries.
Smoke alarm suggestions from FASNY and NFPA:
- 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 carbon monoxide alarm.
- Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, and in, or near each sleeping area
- Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.
More information on fire safety and prevention can be found on the FASNY website.