Check your smoke and CO alarms

By From page A6 | November 01, 2013

The Amador-El Dorado Unit of Cal Fire would like to remind everyone that on Sunday, Nov. 3, daylight savings time comes to an end and we “gain” one hour as we “fall back,” or roll back, our clocks before going to bed on Saturday night. Historically our message has been to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms twice a year, but with the current quality of batteries and alarm technology enhancements, we only need to change the batteries once a year. But you’re not off the hook completely. While you are changing the clocks in your home please take a few minutes to vacuum your smoke alarms and CO alarms to prevent the buildup of dust, dirt and little insects from inside the alarms as this can trigger false alarms.

Keep in mind that you should install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. It is best practice to interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

Additional smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:

• Test your alarms once a month and clean your alarms once a month or as needed.

• Replace batteries once a year or when the alarm signals (“chirps”) the end of the battery life.

• Follow manufacturer’s instructions if you have a 10-year smoke alarm which uses a long-life lithium battery.

• Replace your smoke alarm at least every 10 years.

• Replace your CO alarm at least every five years.

• Never remove batteries from your alarms.

• Never paint over your alarms.

• Practice fire drills or exit drills so everyone understands what to do when they hear a smoke or CO alarm go off.

For more information please visit the Cal Fire Website at where you can find fire and life safety fact sheets and videos.

Teresa Mizuhara

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