Daylight Savings Time Begins March 12

Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour before going to bed, as Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 a.m.

The Pennsauken Township Fire Department reminds all residents that tonight is also the perfect opportunity to change the batteries on all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Why You Need A Smoke Alarm

Every year in the United States, there are more than 350,000 home fires, resulting in over 2,500 deaths. Of these deaths, 60 percent of them occur during fires in which no working smoke alarm is present.

Smoke alarms are crucial elements in the early detection of fires. Smoke and toxic fumes spread through a house faster than flames. They are especially hazardous and can cause respiratory burns, lightheadedness, nausea, confusion, and sleepiness. Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death for home fire victims.

About half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., while residents are asleep. Without a smoke alarm to wake residents and alert them to the danger, they are likely to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning or smoke inhalation. Because families may have as little as two minutes to get out of their house once a fire starts, smoke alarms provide the warning that residents need to safely escape.

It’s estimated that about 96 to 97 percent of homes in the United States have smoke alarms, but that one in five of these homes does not have a single working smoke alarm. Having a non-functioning smoke alarm is just as dangerous as not having a smoke alarm at all.

Smoke alarms are extremely low maintenance. Test the smoke alarm once a month. Replace the battery once every six months and clean it every six months using a vacuum hose attachment. Every 10 years, replace your smoke alarms.

Why You Need A Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. The gas is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, which include coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas.

Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO (Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2015).

On average 170 people die each year in the United States from Carbon Monoxide gas poisoning produced from non-automotive devices. In 2005 alone, 94 deaths were attributed to gas powered generator use. The generators were placed in a confined space that allowed for the buildup of deadly CO. CO detectors were not in use or simply did not work.

A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the gas before it reaches dangerous levels.