The Bismarck Fire Department would like to remind area residents to Change your Clock and Change your Batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home on Sunday, Nov. 4.
While all new homes are required to have smoke alarms installed when built, many older homes still lack working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In the United States, 38 percent of fatal fire injuries occur in homes without working smoke alarms while 24 percent occur in homes what have at least one smoke alarm present but fails to operate. As the weather becomes colder, the chances of having a fire or a carbon monoxide incident in your home also increase.
The Bismarck Fire Department has the following tips when changing your batteries:
• If your smoke alarm is older than ten (10) years, it should be replaced. Consider getting a new smoke alarm that has ionization and photo electric technology. The two technologies detect different types of fires and will respond quicker to give you extra time to get out in the event of a fire. Consider getting lithium battery alarms that will last up to ten (10) years. If your smoke alarms are not interconnected, consider purchasing alarms that use wireless technology.
• Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm in each sleeping room, outside the sleeping areas, and on each level of your home.
• If you carbon monoxide detector is older than six (6) years, it should be replaced. The chemical electric cells inside become weak over time and may not be able to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in time.
• Make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide detector outside the sleeping areas in your home and on each level.
• Take a few minutes to vacuum the dust out of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as you change the batteries to reduce the chances of a nuisance alarm. Even hardwired alarms and detectors have battery back-ups.
• Know the difference between the sound of a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector.
• Practice you home escape plan with your family when you test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you do not have an escape plan, sit down with you family and make one. Have two ways out of every room, one being the door and the other the window. Make sure everyone knows where to meet once they are outside.
• Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector monthly.
For more home fire safety tips and information visit www.bismarck.org/fire or call 355-1400.