With Fall Time Change, Public Reminded of Pedestrian Safety, Replacing Smoke Alarm Batteries
With Daylight Saving Time ending this weekend, Clark County officials are reminding the public to change the batteries in their home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The public also is urged to keep pedestrian safety in mind when one less hour of daylight makes it harder to see pedestrians and bicyclists, especially during evening commutes.
Clocks turn back one hour for the return of Standard Time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5. Clark County is one of many community partners that supports the annual #Dusk2DawnNV Road & Pedestrian Safety Campaign created by UNLV’s Transportation Research Center. The effort reminds pedestrians and motorists of the role they play in getting home safely when the days are shorter and there is less visibility on roadways. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and pay close attention to pedestrians when it’s darker due to the time change. Pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to be as visible as possible on roadways and in crosswalks. Anyone traveling by foot, bicycle, scooter or similar mode should wear reflective gear or lights to help motorists see them, and never assume that a driver can see you just because you are crossing legally in a crosswalk.
“This time of year, it’s important to remind motorists and pedestrians to be extra cautious, as daylight hours are much shorter,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, a traffic safety advocate. “Tragically, most pedestrian fatalities occur between dusk and dawn when it’s harder for motorists to see pedestrians. It is critical that drivers slow down, pay extra attention, and use their headlights.”
Drivers should obey posted speed limits and stay focused while driving. Pedestrians are encouraged to make eye contact with drivers as they cross roadways and to only cross streets at crosswalks and intersections.
Public safety officials also remind the public that fall is an ideal time of year to ensure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“We encourage people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the fall and the spring each year,” said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. “This is a life-saving habit that can keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire or a problem with carbon monoxide levels in your home.”
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas or propane burn incompletely. Officials say any fuel-burning item has the potential to produce dangerous levels of CO gas including automobiles, charcoal grills, fireplaces and woodstoves and gas appliances such as dryers, stoves and water heaters. Always keep garage doors open when running a vehicle or other motor engine, and make sure vents for dryers, furnaces and similar appliances are clear. Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations away from windows and doors; gas and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. Officials say when CO detectors and smoke alarms fail to operate, it’s usually because the batteries aren’t working. Suggested tips include:
- Smoke alarms more than 10 years old need to be replaced.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button; replace immediately if they don’t respond properly when tested.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and how to respond.
- Chirping alarms are a warning sign that that battery is low and needs to be replaced.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling.
- Smoke alarms with strobe lights and vibration devices are available for hearing impaired people.
- Install in a central location outside each sleeping area of a home.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for placement and height.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to practice a home escape route with your family at least twice a year. A plan should include identifying all possible exists and escape routes in your home and discussing it with all members of your household. A meeting place also should be designated a safe distance outside your home where everyone can gather in the event of an emergency. For safety tips on a variety of topics, visit the Clark County Fire Department’s website pages at https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/government/departments/fire/general_safety_information.php.
Daylight Saving Time returns on Sunday, March 10, 2024, with the setting of clocks one hour ahead.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect, accountability, leadership and excellence. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 41 million visitors a year (2022). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.