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Spring forward into safety: Change your clocks; check your batteries


Wed, Mar 6th 2024 07:15 pm

FASNY reminds New Yorkers to inspect smoke alarms as state leads nation in fire fatalities

Submitted by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York

As New Yorkers prepare to set their clocks forward an hour for the beginning of daylight savings time, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) urges all New Yorkers to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Alarms with removable batteries should have their batteries replaced; those with alarms that have sealed-in batteries should ensure all alarms are functioning; and any detector over 10 years old should be replaced.

In 2023, New York state led the country in home fire deaths, totaling 153 fatalities, and currently leads the nation once again with 33 deaths so far this year. Working smoke alarms could make the difference between life and death in a home fire.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, the risk of dying in a home without working smoke detectors is 55% higher than in a home with fully functioning alarms.

Additionally, three of every five home fire deaths are in residences without working smoke alarms.

FASNY wants to remind New Yorkers to be vigilant and follow home safety advice to prevent accidents during this spring/summer season.

In 2019, New York state enacted legislation that required all new smoke detectors sold to contain 10-year, non-removable batteries that discourage tampering. If you’re not sure when you last replaced the batteries or bought a smoke alarm, FASNY encourages purchasing a new one.

“The warmer months typically signal a time for families and individuals to unwind, relax and have fun. However, FASNY wants to remind all New Yorkers to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” FASNY President Ed Tase said. “We encourage you to replace your fire alarm every 10 years, and check your alarm is functioning properly each month. Help us prevent tragedies by securing your home with smoke alarms on every level and outside sleeping areas.”

Smoke alarms provide critical minutes to escape the home in an emergency. Another vital tool is a carbon monoxide detector, which can warn of a silent but deadly gas build-up in the home. As the weather gets colder and snow begins to fall, New Yorkers should conduct a home safety check to ensure that CO detectors are functioning.

“Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense against a tragedy,” Tase said. “Unfortunately, we do see the majority of home fire fatalities in homes with no smoke alarms or in homes where they aren’t working properly. Daylight savings is a great reminder to do a safety check up on the home.”

Safety Tips Provided by FASNY & National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

√ Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.

√ Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit.

√ Never borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.

√ Never paint a smoke or CO alarm.

√ Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement and in or near each sleeping area.

√ Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.

√ In conjunction with alarms, families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.


Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 85,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York. For more information, visit www.fasny.com.

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