NEW YORK STATE (WETM) – As New Yorkers prepare to set their clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 13 for Daylight Saving Time, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is urging everyone to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Homeowners with alarms that have sealed, non-removable batteries should test the alarms to see if they are functional and check their expiration dates. Alarms that are equipped with removable batteries should have their batteries replaced. 

The Fire Marshal for the City of Elmira reminds to make sure to replace your batteries or if you have a sealed 10-year alarm, test the alarm to make sure it is working.

More detectors are now with a 10 year sealed battery. It was more important to replace batteries before with those disposable batteries, but even with a 10 year sealed battery, you still want to test some and make sure that they’re in working order.”

Elmira Fire Marshal, Richard Keyes

New York State currently leads the nation in home fire deaths in 2022 with 51 deaths. Working smoke alarms save lives. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms or in homes lacking smoke alarms. A quarter of all smoke alarm failures are caused by dead batteries. 

“Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are critical to saving lives during emergencies,” says FASNY President John P. Farrell. “We encourage all New Yorkers to check their smoke and CO alarms monthly to ensure that they are functional. The additional time a smoke or CO alarm provides can be the difference between life and death. In addition, fire sprinkler systems are proven to save lives and these systems should be installed whenever possible. ”  

In 2019, a New York State law was passed requiring all newly installed or replacement smoke alarms in the State of New York to be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home. It banned the sale of smoke alarms with removable batteries. Smoke alarms equipped with sealed-in, non-removable batteries are nearly impossible to disable and require little maintenance. If you’re not sure when you last replaced the batteries or bought a smoke alarm, FASNY encourages you to purchase a new one with 10-year batteries

Smoke Alarm Tips from FASNY and the NFPA:

  • Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button. 
  • If you have an alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months, and change the batteries every year. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do NOT disable the unit. 
  • Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit. 
  • NEVER borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.  
  • NEVER paint a smoke or CO alarm. 
  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and in, or near each sleeping area.  
  • Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.  
  • Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries. 

For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and other information on fire safety and prevention, visit your local fire department’s website or www.fasny.com and www.nfpa.org.  

Founded in 1872, the Firefighters Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the approximately 90,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State.  For more information, visitwww.fasny.com.