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The Yankee Express

Spring Ahead & Check Smoke Detectors Remember to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Mar 01, 2021 03:09PM ● By Theresa Knapp

When you adjust your clocks for Daylight Savings Time on March 14, 2021 (at 2:00 a.m.), be sure to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. 

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors save lives: 

• Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

• More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.

• The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

How do I test my smoke detector? 

On most smoke detectors, you press and hold the TEST button on the smoke detector. It can take a few seconds to begin, but you will hear a loud, ear-piercing siren while the button is pressed. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries. Click here for a video tutorial from the National Fire Protection Association. []

What is carbon monoxide? 

According to the USFA, Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the United States die every year from accidental non fire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Beware of symptoms such as headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, and loss of consciousness. 

How do I test my carbon monoxide detector? 

To test your carbon monoxide alarm, simply press the TEST/RESET button until the unit chirps, then release the test button. The unit will then emit 2 sets of three slow beeps followed by 2 sets of four quick beeps indicating that the alarm is operating normally. [] 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends testing alarms every month, and replacing any device that is more than 10 years old. 

Image credit: Massachusetts Department of Fire Services,