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The Shawnee News-Star
Information to help you around your home, yard, garden or acreage.
Stop the Chirping!!
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About this blog
By Sonya McDaniel
Sonya McDaniel I have been an OSU Extension Educator for over 10 years providing individuals and families with information about healthy cooking and eating, simple money management tips, steps to making housework and daily routines easier and how ...
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OSU Extension's Green Acres
Sonya McDaniel I have been an OSU Extension Educator for over 10 years providing individuals and families with information about healthy cooking and eating, simple money management tips, steps to making housework and daily routines easier and how to deal with daily life issues. I live on a small working ranch in Pottawatomie County with my husband, dogs, cat, sheep and cows. We enjoy growing a small garden and turning the produce into yummy treats for the rest of the year. Although I grew up a city girl from Missouri, I enjoy the simpler life of country living with the suburban flare of Shawnee. My joys in life are: watching young kids learn new skills and be successful, singing at church every Sunday, watching things grow (other than weeds!), and hanging out with my friends and family.
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By Sonya McDaniel
March 8, 2013 12:01 a.m.



It’s that time of year!  This Sunday, March 10, is time for us to “Spring Forward”, which also means it’s time to change the batteries in all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  Everyone should test their alarms and detectors once a month, but it is very important to change the batteries once a year.  It could save a life according to the Safe Kids Coalition!

In fact, having a working smoke alarm reduces a person's chance of dying in a fire by half.

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Smoke alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings.  Carbon Monoxide detectors should be in homes which use propane or natural gas, and should be placed near or in rooms where gas appliances are located.

Even if your smoke alarms are hardwired, replace the batteries in case of a chirping sound or a power outage.  Remember there are high risks of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning when the power goes out and you are using alternative heating/lighting sources (candles, lamps, propane heat, etc.)  

Reminder: Smoke alarms and detectors do not last forever!  The maximum life span is 8-10 years. After that time, the entire unit should be replaced. If the unit does not respond properly when tested, it should be replaced immediately.

This experience just happened at my house this week.  Our carbon monoxide detector started chirping, and didn’t stop even after new batteries were installed.  My husband then noticed some messages on the back which told us “this device will beep every 30 seconds without stopping after the device had been installed for 7 years.  Replace the unit”.  Sure enough, we installed that device not long after we moved into our home seven years ago in February! 

Alarms and detectors are a small price to pay for the safety of your family.  Don’t forget to properly maintain them so they work correctly.  If you are unable to safely check or install your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detectors, contact your local Fire Department and they are able to provide this service for you.  They would rather come see you without their sirens going, I can assure you!!      

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