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November 12, 2013 > You changed your clock, did you change your battery?

You changed your clock, did you change your battery?

Submitted By Hayward Emergency Services

Daylight Saving Time ended at 2 a.m. local time on Nov. 3. For years, the Hayward Fire Department has urged residents to change and test smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when changing clocks backward each fall. In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms provide an early warning alarm to your household. This alarm could save your own life, and those of your loved ones, by providing the chance to escape.

What types of smoke alarms are available? There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one, called dual sensor smoke alarms.

Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the Hayward Fire Department recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms.

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are now required in all new construction and residential homes. CO is an odorless, colorless gas found in combustion fumes. People that come in contact with these fumes can be poisoned by breathing in the gas. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. A basic UL approved CO alarm can be purchased for as little as $20 including a battery. UL is a global independent safety science company offering expertise in certification, validation, testing, and inspections.

In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

So, when you turned your clocks back, did you make a lifesaving change in your household? Change the batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights, portable radios, and other essential devices. Help another household by telling a friend to test their smoke and CO detectors. And if they are without any, recommend that they install both in their home. It is the cheapest insurance one can buy for their family.

For more information on general preparedness, visit: www.hayward-ca.gov and click on the red ÒDisaster PreparednessÓ button.

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