NEW YORK – This year, as we “Spring Ahead” for Daylight Saving Time, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York urges all New Yorkers to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that they are functioning properly.
FASNY recommends cleaning all alarms to remove any debris that might impede their function and to change batteries.
As many new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now include batteries that have a 10-year life span, owners of these devices are asked to test their alarms to ensure they are working properly.
“This is a device that if working properly can be the difference between life and death,” said FASNY President Robert McConville. “Too often firefighters are called to a devastating fire scene that could have been avoided if the home had working smoke alarms. Simply put, this is the most important appliance in your home. It will not only help save your life, but the lives of firefighters tasked with protecting the public.”
FASNY is supporting state legislation which would require that all smoke alarms sold in New York State come equipped with batteries that have a 10-year life span.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.
Though many homeowners and businesses do in fact have smoke alarms, these units are often not functioning due to a lack of proper maintenance caused by human error.
FASNY smoke & CO alarm tips:
Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
Check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year (if applicable). 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.
Smoke alarms should be completely replaced every ten years.
Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and other information on fire safety and prevention, visit www.fasny.com and www.nfpa.org
Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State.