By | November 30, 2014

By John Fitts, Editor

As The Time ‘Falls Back,’ Fire Officials Remind Residents to Check Detectors, Change Batteries and Take Measures to Prevent Risk of CO Poisoning

November 1, 2014 

As the time “falls back” at 2 a.m. Nov. 2, fire officials remind resident to check their batteries and ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are clean, working and not outdated.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries, making it important to take this time each year to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Acting fire marshal said working smoke detectors do make a difference, especially between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. when most are in their deepest sleep.

“As a silent sentinel they keep watch when we are most vulnerable to toxic smoke and gasses, sounding the alarm and possibly saving lives,” he said. “In Canton there have been several instances over the years where working smoke detectors have alerted occupants to a fire.”

Additionally, carbon monoxide poising is an increased risk as the weather gets colder. Richard Hutchings, chief of the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department, offer the following tips and information:

– Purchase only UL Certified CO alarms: Place them, as recommended by the manufacturer, throughout the home. One alarm is not enough. This is a relatively reasonably priced security tool that can save the health and lives of your family.

– Carbon monoxide is odorless. It’s colorless. And it’s deadly. CO replaces the oxygen in your bloodstream and suffocates your body’s cells. And, you won’t even see it coming. CO alarms provide a first line of defense against CO poisoning.

– Service your furnace at least once a year: In the post-winter months, you may not think about maintaining your oil tank, or even keeping it filled. However, an empty tank leaves sludge behind which plugs the filter and creates a malfunction in the furnace. This can cause the furnace to release CO into your home.

– Prevention is no accident: The recent economic downturn caused people to postpone preventative services to items such as: furnaces, wood/kerosene or pellet stoves; oil or gas appliances. However, the fact is a well-maintained furnace/stove uses less fuel.

Canton’s volunteer firefighters and EMTs are trained and equipped to handle fire, smoke, CO and other hazardous emergencies. Prevention, however, is key to life safety. That’s where you can help us keep you and your family healthy and protected throughout the year.