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Officials remind to check batteries in smoke, carbon monoxide detectors

The time dropped back an hour early Sunday morning. This is a good time to remind everyone to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The Tennessee Department of Commerce recommends replacing batteries twice a year in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors unless you have smoke alarms with 10 year sealed batteries, which require the entire smoke alarm to be replaced when the alarm chirps.

With temperatures dipping lower at night this time of the year, this is the time when more fire’s are reported due to faulty heaters and misuse of space heaters. Remember to never leave a space heater unattended, inspect heaters for loose connections or frayed wires, and keep space heaters at least three feet away from combustable items. Other safety tips:

  • Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
  • Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.