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Change Clocks & Batteries Together To Avoid Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on November 9, 2011

Daylight Savings Time End SafetyLast weekend marked the end of Daylight Savings Time. As clocks were turned back one hour on Sunday, November 6, Americans (except those in Arizona and Hawaii) gained an extra hour of slumber in the morning. However, there’s one safety issue you should not sleep on, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). When setting clocks backward, take the opportunity to swap the batteries in both carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fire and burn injuries.

According to data from fire departments, from 2006 to 2008, around 386,000 household fires caused over 12,500 injuries, 2,400 fatalities, and $6.92 billion in property damages each year during that period. The CPSC estimates that approximately two thirds of fire fatalities happen in households without smoke alarms or ones with alarms that are not properly functioning. Smoke alarms should be placed on each level of a home, as well as outside and inside every bedroom.

Carbon monoxide alarms should also be put on every level of a house and inside and outside of all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, lethal gas that has no smell. During 2005 to 2007, a medium of 184 accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning occurred each year. Another important measure for guarding against the deadly gas is to have professional examinations performed each year on all fuel burning apparatus, such as fire places and furnaces. Residential heating systems were linked to almost 40 percent of carbon monoxide poisoning fatalities (the highest cause) in 2007. For convenience and space saving, consumers may opt to purchase combination units, with carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in the same model.

While the CPSC advises consumers to change the batteries on these devices at least once a year at this time, the agency also urges individuals to regularly test them on a monthly basis throughout the year. If you or a family member has been injured in a residential home fire or carbon monoxide accident that you believe to be the fault of another party, contact the Oakland personal injury attorneys with Balamuth Harrington at 1(888) 254-1234 for a complimentary and confidential consultation.

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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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