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Use Extra Hour to Check Smoke Alarms this Weekend

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is encouraging citizens to use the “extra” hour this weekend when Daylight Savings Time ends and clocks are turned back one hour to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 2:00 a.m. – citizens should turn their clocks back one hour.

The time spent to ensure that working smoke alarms are installed on every level of the home, as well as inside and outside of sleeping areas, could save your family’s life.  Most fatal fires occur at night between midnight and 5:00 a.m. when people are asleep.  A working smoke alarm provides early warning and provides a family with needed extra seconds to get out of a burning home safely.  Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced at least once a year, or when a chirping sound indicating a low battery is indicated. 

Citizens should also check to ensure that their carbon monoxide alarm is working properly.  Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is the result of incomplete

combustion of carbon-containing materials.  Common sources of carbon monoxide include open flames, faulty gas stoves, blocked chimneys, space heaters, or a car or generator left running in the garage.  Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because the gas is virtually undetectable without detection technology like a carbon monoxide alarm.  Elevated levels of carbon monoxide can be lethal depending upon the amount of gas present and the length of exposure. 

Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed near or in each separate sleeping area.  At a minimum, residents should have a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of the home.  For added protection, an additional carbon monoxide alarm should be placed at least 15-20 feet away from the furnace or fuel burning heat sources.  Alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from sources of humidity like bathrooms and showers.  If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors, call 911 and remain outside to await the arrival of emergency personnel. 

For more information about fire safety topics, visit our Web site at www.cedar-rapids.org/fire or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cedarrapidsfiredepartment.

Did you know?

Through October 29, 2019, there have been 109 residential fires in Cedar Rapids.  A working smoke alarm that alerted occupants was verified in 47.7 percent of the fires.  This is an improvement over recent years where smoke alarms present and working has been around 37 percent.

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