When the time changes to daylight savings this spring, in addition to moving your clocks ahead, make sure your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are in good working condition by pressing the test button.
Working, and properly placed, smoke and CO alarms save lives. Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, both inside and outside every sleeping area, and have working CO alarms on every level of your home, close to sleeping areas. These are two of the easiest things you can do to keep your family safe.
CO is called ‘the invisible killer’ because you cannot see or smell it. This poisonous gas can come from many sources, including cars, malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, and room heaters; as well as engine-powered equipment like portable generators. Burning charcoal in fireplaces or in barbeque grills inside a home, or in semi-enclosed areas can also result in lethal carbon monoxide levels.
At low levels, CO poisoning symptoms include dizziness, headaches, or flu-like symptoms. At high levels, they can cause mental confusion, vomiting, and even death. At extremely high levels, it is possible to lose consciousness suddenly without experiencing any other symptoms. Sustained exposure can quickly incapacitate and kill you.
Smoke alarms alert you to any smoke in your home. Replace the batteries in your alarms according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and test alarms once a month to make sure they are working.
For more information, and other fire safety tips, visit calgary.ca/csps/fire/safety-tips/fire-safety-and-prevention.html.