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Stay safe: Check smoke detectors, heaters

No matter how much Americans enjoy daylight saving time (only 13 percent report a major disruption by the change to and from DST), it ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.

That means you’ll have to adjust those clocks that don’t automatically update.

It’s also a good time to check smoke detectors. Changing batteries in smoke alarms when you change your clocks can save lives, maybe your own.

More than 360,000 house fires results in more than 2,000 deaths and 11,000 injuries each year. Proper installation, operation and maintenance of smoke alarms reduces the risk of property damage, injuries and death.

In addition to smoke alarms, CO alarms should also be checked. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that can kill within minutes.

Below are fire safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

• Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.

• Install both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.

• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month to make sure they are working.

• Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your family.

• A smoke alarm can’t save lives if everyone doesn’t know what to do when it sounds. Have two ways to get out of each room and set a pre-arranged meeting place outside.

• Children and the elderly can sleep through the sound of a smoke alarm and not hear it go off, so a caregiver needs to be prepared to help others get out of the house.

• And remember, once you are out of the house, stay out.

It’s also time to think about heat safety, since the first blast of cold weather is here.

State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney urges residents to use caution when using space heaters and other types of heating devices.

“Too many fires and fire deaths are caused by faulty heating equipment or people using ill-advised methods to stay warm,” he said.

Space heaters cause about one-third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of all winter-heating fire deaths. Space heaters also account for more than 70 percent of all winter fire injuries and half of all property damage caused  in  heating fires.

As you prepare for cold weather, take precautions when it come to heaters.

Fire safety officials also encourage residents to have a home escape plan in case of a fire. Modern homes burn at an increase rate, making a fire escape plan all the more important.