Monday, March 21, 2011

Smoke, carbon monoxide detectors vital for homes

Now that the clocks have sprung forward in that annual ritual known as Daylight Saving Time, it may be time to spring for new batteries for the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

In 2009, the latest year statistics are available, 2,565 people died in fires and 13,050 were injured, with deaths from fires being the third leading cause of fatal home injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four out of five of those deaths occurred in homes without smoke detectors.

Small children are especially at risk in a home fire, and for them one unique smoke detector lets parents record a voice message intended to wake them up. Parents have about 15 seconds to rouse their child and to give them some calming direction. When triggered, the voice message alternates with a standard alarm.

"Basically when they go off it's your voice telling the child to get down near the floor, or whatever message the parent wants to give them," said Denny Sian, owner of Sanford Hardware.