Cook County Reminds Residents to Change Clocks and Check Batteries During Daylight Saving Time

As residents set clocks back one hour this weekend, the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) urges residents to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. It’s one of the simplest and least expensive things residents can do around their home and it could save lives.

In addition to replacing batteries annually, residents with smoke or CO detectors that do not use batteries or that have a 10-year battery should press and hold the test button to ensure detectors are in good working order. It’s important to install a smoke and CO detector on every level of your home except the attic and basement unless those are also sleeping areas. Residents should also consider installing interconnected alarms throughout their homes so when one is triggered, the others sound as well.

Accidental CO poisoning is responsible for more than 400 deaths in the U.S. annually and over 20,000 emergency room visits according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CO is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it is odorless, colorless and poisonous.

Approximately 41% of homes that experienced a fire between 2014 – 2018 had smoke alarms that did not operate because the batteries were missing or the detector was disconnected, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA also found that 57% of fire deaths in that time period occurred in homes where smoke detectors were either not present or not working.

Families should make sure everyone in the home knows what do if a smoke or CO detector sounds. EMRS encourages residents to identify two exit points from each room, practice evacuation plans and designate a meeting place for the family a safe distance from the home in case of an emergency.

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