February 28, 2002
Time Change Means Time to Check Smoke
About 16 million U.S. homes have
non-functioning smoke detectors
Summary of Issue: Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, April 7, so most
of the country will lose an hour when we turn our clocks forward. The U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests this is a good time of
the year for consumers to test to ensure that their smoke alarms work
Fire is the second leading cause of unintentional death in the home. Each
year, nearly 3,200 people die in residential fires, and there are more than
390,000 residential fires serious enough to be reported to fire departments.
About 90 percent of U.S. households have smoke alarms installed. However, a
CPSC survey found that the smoke alarms in 20 percent of those households --
about 16 million -- were not working, mostly because the battery was dead or