Spring forward this Sunday, March 10th, as clocks will be turned forward at 2 in the morning. As you’re doing this, Ready Wisconsin also encourages you to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around your home.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors provide a crucial early warning to danger in your home. The time change this weekend provides an excellent opportunity to check those devices while you are resetting your clocks.
Smoke detectors should be tested once a month and the device as a whole should be replaced every 10 years. The National Fire Protection Association warned, three out of every five home fire deaths result when detectors were not present, or were not working properly.
As record breaking cold temperatures have fallen over Wisconsin this winter, furnaces have been working overtime. This can potentially lead to increased risks of carbon monoxide leaks in the home. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says approximately 500 people are treated at every hospital emergency room across the state annually for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms seen with carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. At high enough levels, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death within minutes. If you believe you or someone you know has carbon monoxide poisoning, go outside immediately and call 911.
To protect yourself and anyone you know from carbon monoxide poisoning, remember these key safety tips:
- All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have detectors on every level, including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Replace your detector every five years.
- Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually by a professional. This insures it’s functionally sound and vents properly inside the home.
- Never run a gasoline or propane heater or grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or in an unventilated garage as these produce carbon monoxide.
- Generators should be run at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.
- Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have the garage door open.