WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the season changes, consumers should replace their batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to ensure they have working alarms throughout their home and to take steps to prevent fires such as cleaning clothes dryer vents. Make these annual habits to help save lives.
“When moving your clocks forward, remember to check every level of your home for working smoke and CO alarms,” said CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric. “Use this additional daylight to prevent home fires by cleaning clothes dryer vents.”
Annually, there are 360,300 residential fires according to CPSC estimates. The fires result in about 2,390 deaths, 10,860 injuries and $7.34 billion in property damage. Proper installation, operation and maintenance of smoke and CO alarms reduces the risk of property damage, injuries and death.
Smoke and CO alarms tips:
- CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas.
- CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas.
- Test the alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least yearly, unless the alarms have sealed 10-year batteries.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacing smoke and CO alarms.
Clothes dryers can be a hidden hazard. CPSC estimates a yearly average of 6,400 clothes dryer fires that injure about 180 people and cause nearly $105 million in property damage.
Clothes dryer tips:
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter and make sure it is clean before or after each use.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe at least once a year.