April 4, 2002
CHANGE YOUR CLOCK & CHECK YOUR BATTERIES
IN SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
Carbon Monoxide Alarms Available to Low-Income Residents of Mecklenburg County
Charlotte, NC - The time to "spring forward" is here. Daylight Saving Time will begin for most of the United States at 2:00am on Sunday, April 7. That means move your clocks forward one hour. The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's office also recommends that you change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at this time.
Mecklenburg County requires a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in all residences with fossil fuel burning appliances or attached garages. The alarms are available at most hardware, home improvement and discount stores for between $20 and $40.
Residents of Mecklenburg County who cannot afford to buy a carbon monoxide alarm can apply for a free alarm by calling City-County Customer Service at 704-336-7600. Callers must be prepared to give their full name, home address and home telephone number. Each resident's income will be verified and an alarm installed. The alarms were purchased with a grant from City of Charlotte Neighborhood Development.
The state of North Carolina requires a smoke alarm in every residence. Since January 1, 2001, when carbon monoxide alarms became law in Mecklenburg County, emergency calls for CO danger have steadily increased. During the first three months of 2002, firefighters responded to more than twice the number of CO alarm activations than during the same period last year. The Fire Marshal credits increased awareness of the danger and increased compliance with the ordinance.
The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's office urges all residents to take other fire safety precautions as well - practice good housekeeping, keep matches and lighters away from children and practice a home escape plan.