WASHINGTON (AP) - Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2:00 a.m., and that's when consumers will turn their clocks back one hour. As the season changes from summer to autumn, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants you to "fall" into the habit of changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.
"As you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO alarms. Protect yourself and your family from fire and CO dangers in your home," said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. "Fresh batteries are necessary to keep alarms working, so they can alert you and your family, and give you time to escape in an emergency."
Some electronic devices and appliances with clocks will adjust automatically, but smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms need a few moments of your time.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2017, a fire occurs in a home structure at the rate of one every 88 seconds. From 2009-2013, the NFPA estimated that three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no or non-working smoke alarms.
CPSC estimates that in 2015, there were about 370,900 residential fires, resulting in about 2,230 deaths, 10,800 injuries, and $6.63 billion in property damage.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. It is called the invisible killer because you cannot see or smell it. CO can come from a variety of sources, including portable generators, furnaces and chimneys, and it can quickly incapacitate and kill you.
Based on CDC estimates, there are more than 400 deaths every year from unintentional CO poisoning, which includes portable generators and home heating systems.
Test your alarms monthly, and change the batteries yearly. Confirm that a smoke alarm is on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should also be placed on every level of your home, and outside sleeping areas. Batteries should be replaced in alarms, unless the alarms have sealed 10-year batteries.
Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO alarms now.
CPSC Consumer Information Hotline: 800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime