Remember to check and change detector batteries
Along with setting clocks back an hour, East Fork Fire department would like to encourage residents to also remember to change their smoke detector batteries.
Deputy Chief Dave Forgerson said they often get calls in the early morning hours because someone’s lower battery alarm seems to sound at the most inopportune time. He also said the smoke detector batteries are almost always a 9 volt and are very easy for the homeowner to replace.
“We had a case a few weeks ago in which a smoke detector alerted the nice couple to a fire in their kitchen during the day,” Forgerson said. “They had left tortilla’s in their toaster oven to make chips, got busy with something else and forgot all about them. They moved to another area of their home and were alerted by their smoke detector of an issue. When the smoke detector first sounded, not enough smoke even existed for them to see the fire in their toaster oven. By the time we arrived on scene, a light haze was throughout the middle of the home and we rapidly moved the toaster outside. If not for the smoke detector sounding, this could have easily been a kitchen fire.”
Forgerson also said if a smoke detector is more than 10 years old, the owner should consider replacing it with a new detector with a 10 year battery so they wouldn’t have to worry about a low battery alarm. Forgerson also would like to remind residents as they are looking at their clocks and smoke detectors to also take a look at their carbon monoxide detector that may also need new batteries.
Carbon Monoxide is a odorless, colorless gas that is almost impossible to identify without a detector. The gas is caused by fuels not burning completely, like wood, coal, propane and heating oil. It can come from clothes dryers, water heaters and ovens. When the gas gets into the lungs, it interferes with the transportation of oxygen throughout the body and can lead to permanent brain and lung tissue damage. Carbon monoxide detectors sound an alarm when they sense a certain amount of carbon monoxide in the air.