When you ‘fall back,’ check your smoke detectors

smoke detector

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, which means we set our clocks back one hour, but firefighters also say it’s a great time to check your smoke detectors.

All you need to do is press the button on your smoke alarm. If it beeps, it’s in working order. If it doesn’t, change the batteries. Additionally, if your smoke detector is at least 10 years old, you should replace it with a new one, said Lt. Cody Johnson with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department.

“Three out of five house deaths from a house fire are from houses that don’t have working smoke alarms,” Johnson said. “Of those working smoke alarms, of the stats that we do have, 25 percent of them were due particularly because they didn’t replace the batteries. So think of how many lives that could potentially save across the nation.”

It’s also important to check carbon monoxide detectors. The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs said it has already received multiple reports of people being taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning this fall. That includes 17 people who were sickened in Manitowoc.

Ready Wisconsin released these safety tips to protect yourself from carbon monoxide:

  • Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have detectors on every level, including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  • Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually. Hire a professional to make sure it is functionally sound and vents properly outside the home.
  • Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home in an unventilated garage, cabin, recreational vehicle, or tent. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide.
  • Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have a door open to the outside.
  • Generators should be run a safe distance from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.
  • Don’t forget to put in fresh batteries.