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Fall back Sunday and check smoke detectors

Set clocks to gain an hour

JONESBORO—The Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services (CCFES) is urging residents to take the necessary precautions to stay safe, by offering three safety tips for “fall back” time.

CCFES is encouraging residents to check their smoke detectors, replace the batteries or to install one in their home this weekend as they reset their clocks on Sunday.

“The changing seasons offer us convenient reminders to tend to chores that can easily be forgotten,” Clayton County Fire Chief/EMA Director Jeff Hood said. “This time of year when we ‘fall back’ is an excellent time to safely prepare for the holidays. Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services would like to remind everyone that even as this busy season approaches, take the time to be safe for yourself and for those you love." 

Most fatal fires occur while people are sleeping and unaware of the dangerous conditions a few feet away, according to CCFES Capt. Walter Barber.

A smoke detector is “an excellent warning device that just might save your life,” Barber said. “Although most homes in America have smoke alarms, many are non-functional. A working alarm will detect dangerous levels of smoke, alerting you and your family, giving you valuable time to escape.”

Barber said in addition to checking smoke detectors, fire officials also recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector, to alert residents of the silent, invisible and odorless killer.

The fire captain said according to the Environmental Protection Agency, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. “Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home,” Barber said. “At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person, depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.”

The fire captain said by installing a CO detector, residents may be warned of a leak before prolonged exposure or illness.

“As the weather turns cold, we are aware that many residents will be cranking up their furnaces, opening chimneys and utilizing space heaters,” he added. “If any of these devices are gas powered, they are a potential source for leaks. Gas stoves, gas water heaters and fumes from cars warming up in the garage produce carbon monoxide. It is therefore, vitally important to monitor the levels that make their way into our homes.”

He said residents should be careful when using ladders to reach their smoke detectors.

“Inspect the ladders for stability prior to use, use a ladder tall enough to safely reach objects and if at all possible have someone hold the ladder in place so that it does not move when you move,” Barber said.