The Checkout

Spring Forward and Check Your Smoke Alarms

It's time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should be doing this at least once a year and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission usually recommends you do so when you reset your clocks, either when we spring forward to Daylight Savings Time or in the fall, when we revert to standard time zones.

So, if you didn't check these essential household protection devices over the weekend, take time to do so this week. Replace the batteries if you didn't in the fall and test them to make sure they are working. In fact, you should test your smoke and CO alarms every month, the CPSC advises. And you should make sure there's an alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.

And how old are those alarms? Some manufacturers recommend you replace smoke alarms every 10 years and CO alarms every 5. Why? Their sensors can degrade from age and environmental contamination, the CPSC says.

Also remember, if your family has small children, you should come up with additional fire-safety strategies, including escape plans and practice drills, because recent studies have indicated that children younger than 16 may not always be awakened by smoke alarms. Some manufacturers are starting to address that issue, offering alarms that can record a parent's voice on the theory that children would be more likely to respond. (At my house, I'm not sure that would work--my voice is the LAST thing my kids want to hear. But then again they're older than 16, which may explain everything). Meanwhile the CPSC is researching ways to improve the alarm's audibility for children and hearing-impaired adults.

By  |  April 3, 2006; 7:00 AM ET Consumer Tips
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I think comments of that length shouldn't be allowed. And che, do you have the copyright holder's permission to post the entire article here? I think not.

Posted by: Wow | April 3, 2006 10:03 PM

Che has been reprimanded on other washington post blogs for posting these unrelated and lengthy articles. One blog has taken to editing these "comments" from Che by removing the article and just leaving a link. Looks like that would be helpful here, too.

Posted by: Anon | April 4, 2006 9:44 AM

Oh, the heck with that, just ban him. I moderate a lot of online discussions in other venues, trust me, it can be done.

(Spam posts stay up for days, yet they edited my comment when I used the phrase "what really yanks my pubes". I understand the latter, but not the former, or the two taken as a whole. Maybe by quoting myself here they'll start paying more attention to Caroline's blog comments.)

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | April 4, 2006 1:54 PM

The che comment in this string (and in others) has been deleted.

Posted by: | April 4, 2006 3:41 PM

And the "business" spam, too! Thank you,! *clapclapclap*

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | April 5, 2006 11:59 AM

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