smokedetector.jpgEarly this morning was the time to "fall back" and set your clocks back an hour. It's also recommended that this is a good reminder time to check the batteries in one's smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you missed the opportunity in the spring, when we set clocks ahead. According to a 2005 study publicized by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 3,700 people die in the U.S. annually in home fires and 18,000 people are injured. Unintentional deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning are much more rare, numbering only about 180 annually.

According to NYC housing law, landlords are required to provide tenants with smoke detectors in a number appropriate to the building. These devices don't work, however, unless their batteries are regularly changed. So check your smoke detector and CO monitors to make sure they're functioning and properly powered. To emphasize the importance of fresh batteries, we'll remind readers of the March fire this year in the Bronx that killed eight children and one adult. That home had two smoke detectors but a post-fire investigation revealed that the batteries in both of them were dead.