As you're changing the time on your clocks this weekend to spring forward, add "checking batteries on smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector" to your to-do-list.

Checking these two things is vital as your life could depend on it. Director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation Affairs (LARA) along with the State Marshall are urging all Michiganders to do these simple tasks.

Testing your fire alarms to make sure they are working properly greatly increases your chance of surviving a home fire

State Marshal Sehlmeyer say it takes only three minutes for a home to be completely immersed with flames.

Sadly, in 2020, Michigan saw a 21% increase in the number of deaths due to home fires compared to the previous year. Only 35% of those homes were equipped with working smoke alarms. Therefore, proving how imperative it is to check your batteries and change them if need be.

Something else just as important are checking your carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide (CO) is commonly known as the "silent" or "invisible killer" because you cannot see, smell, or taste it. High enough concentrations of CO can kill someone within five minutes.

The press release states that carbon monoxide detector batteries should be changed once a year, unless they have the sealed 10-year ones. You should have one for every level of your home and any outside bedrooms.

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The following tips are to help you be prepared and keep yourself and your family safe:

  • Never remove or disconnect batteries from smoke alarm unless you're replacing them
  • Use the test button monthly on your alarm to make sure it's still functioning
  • Have smoke alarms in every sleeping area and on every level of the home
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years (or sooner if they don't respond well)
  • Have a fire escape plan in place and practice it at least twice a year

Get more tips here.

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