With the recent switch to Daylight Saving Time, this is an ideal time to remind Californians to check their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. First Alert is urging families to ensure their home is properly protected from the threats of smoke, fire and CO.

CO safety is especially relevant for California residents due to alarm requirements. In 2011, California passed Senate Bill 183, requiring CO alarms in newly constructed single- and two-family homes, as well as all existing single-family homes. Since then, the law has been expanded to cover all multi-family dwellings. Seven years later, those same alarms may be sounding their last beeps..

As we turned back our clocks Californians should be mindful to improve home safety with these simple tips:

Equip your home with the recommended number of smoke and CO alarms. The National Fire Protection Association suggests having at least one CO alarm on each level, including the basement, and one in or near every bedroom. For smoke alarms, have one installed on every level of the home and inside each bedroom.

Test alarms at least every month to ensure they are in proper working condition.

Most CO alarms should be replaced every five to seven years (some new CO alarms are tested to last 10 years), and smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. If you don’t know how old an alarm is, the safest bet is to replace it immediately.

Practice a fire escape plan. According to a recent study conducted by First Alert, only 43 percent of Americans report having a home escape plan in place. However, only a quarter (26 percent) have ever practiced it. After planning an emergency escape route, practice it at least twice a year.

Dust off alarms when you replace the batteries, or for 10-year models such as 10-Year Sealed Combination Alarms, when you test the alarms. This ensures they are in working order.

Make certain each person can hear the smoke and CO alarms sound from his or her sleeping room and that the sound is loud enough to awaken everyone.

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