NEW YORK (WKBW) — Clocks will spring ahead an hour tonight as Daylight Saving Time begins, but other than adjusting your clocks you should also take this possibly life-saving action.
The Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) urges New Yorkers to replace all aging, removable battery-powered smoke alarms and test others to ensure they are in working order.
FASNY says any smoke alarm over 10 years of age should be replaced by a sealed-in smoke alarm which has non-removable batteries that last 10 years.
As of April 1st, 2019 sealed-in smoke alarms with non-removable batteries will be the only type of battery-powered smoke alarms permitted to be sold in New York State as a result of legislation signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2015.
FASNY says according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or working smoke alarms.
“Another tragic year is underway in New York State and FASNY believes it is time for a change,” said FASNY President Steven E. Klein. “Working smoke alarms, quite simply, save lives. We urge all New Yorkers to install smoke alarms equipped with non-removeable batteries, ensuring that their home and families are never left defenseless against fire. This is the single most important fire protection measure that people can take. Taking a few minutes to inspect and install smoke alarms now could be the difference between tragedy and survival. We applaud Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for banning the sale of smoke alarms with removeable batteries and are eager for the law to be implemented this spring.”
Here are some smoke alarm tips from the NFPA and FASNY:
• Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and near all sleeping areas.
• Test smoke alarms monthly to make sure they’re working. Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
• Interconnect your smoke alarms so that when one smoke alarm sounds, they all do.
• If you have an alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year. 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 have accumulated in the unit.
• NEVER borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.
• NEVER paint a smoke or CO alarm.
• Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.
• Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
• Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.