Spring Into Safety!

Spring is on the way, and we can expect longer days and warmer weather. And as Long Islanders prepare to set their clocks forward one hour on, Sunday, March 12, for Day Light Savings Time, the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center is reminding residents to take this opportunity check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure their homes are properly protected.

“Smoke alarms are the single most importance appliance found in every home,” said Chief John Murray, Chief Instructor, Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center. “We urge all Long Islanders to conduct routine, simple maintenance to ensure these lifesaving devices are in proper order.” 

If alarms have removeable batteries, those batteries should be replaced at this time. Alarms equipped with sealed-in batteries should be tested to ensure they are in proper working condition. Alarms that are more than 10 years old should always be replaced.     

“We strongly encourage all Long Islanders to install 10-year smoke alarms, which cannot be easily deactivated, and make sure there are two detectors installed on every level of the home and in all bedrooms.” said Chief Murray. “Equally important is installing and maintaining carbon monoxide alarms, which are also critical in protecting life.”

According to research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, and the vast majority of smoke alarm failures are due to dead or missing batteries. Ten-year smoke alarms require little maintenance, and unlike alarms with removable batteries, they are nearly impossible to deactivate. Regardless of the type of alarm in one’s home, the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center is urging everybody to take some time and ensure their alarms are in proper working order.

Smoke & CO Alarm Tips: 

  • Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
  • If you have an alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do NOT disable the unit.
  • Vacuum or blow out any dust that might have accumulated in the unit. 
  • NEVER borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.
  • NEVER paint a smoke or CO alarm.
  • Install at least two smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in, or near each sleeping area/bedrooms.
  • Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.
  • Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.

For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and other information on fire safety and prevention, visit www.nfpa.org.

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