Nowadays, digital clocks tend to automatically reset when daylight saving time ends every year, making the task easier.
But one facet of the time change that isn't automatic is that smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries still need to be changed. Safety groups have long suggested people to change the batteries on these devices during time changes to easily remember when to change the batteries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55% lower in homes with working smoke alarms. According to 2014-18 data, about 41% of all home fire deaths were in properties without a working alarm. An additional 16% were in homes where the alarms did not properly sound.
As of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agencyestimated that 2,840 Americans died as a result of house fires. FEMA estimates there were 353,500 house fires in the U.S. in 2021.
FEMA's data shows there has been a gradual increase in the number of residential fire fatalities even as house fires have declined in recent years.
The National Fire Protection Association provides tips on its website for properly installing and maintaining fire alarms. In addition to changing the battery periodically, they recommend testing alarms monthly.
Meanwhile, carbon monoxide poisoning also remains a concern for officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 420 Americans a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
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