Nearly Half of Americans Fail to Check Home Safety Devices at Daylight-Saving Time


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Nearly Half of Americans Fail to Check Home Safety Devices at Daylight-Saving Time

  1. 1. Nearly Half of Americans Fail to Check Home Safety Devices at Daylight-Saving Time New Survey Finds Many Homeowners Could Be at Risk ATLANTA, Oct 20, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- A recent survey conducted for The Home Depot (R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, revealed that 47 percent of Americans who turned back the clock to end daylight-saving time last year, did not use this reminder date to check home safety devices around their homes. The survey also found that nearly three-fourths of Americans do not know exactly when daylight-saving time ends this year. The findings suggest that in many homes, key safety devices could go unchecked and put homeowners at risk. (Logo: ) Sunday, October 30 is the date to remember, when millions of Americans will set their clocks back one hour. For more than a decade, this activity has also been a time when millions of consumers have been urged by consumer groups and fire professionals to check safety devices around the house to ensure that families stay safe throughout the year. quot;The Home Depot is dedicated to keeping Americans prepared and safe in their own homes,quot; said Carl Liebert, EVP -- Home Depot Stores, who heads up the company's environmental, health and safety programs. quot;This survey is certainly a wake-up call for all Americans, and we hope that when they wake up on October 31, they have turned their clocks back and checked their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Being prepared in case of an emergency is the best way to ensure safety.quot; It is crucial that battery-operated home safety devices, such as smoke detectors, are checked regularly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors are the single most important means of preventing residential fire fatalities, since they provide an early warning signal and allow residents the chance to escape. Fire prevention officials recommend changing the batteries in all smoke detectors twice a year to ensure that they are in good working order and daylight-saving time is a good reminder to do so. When turning the clocks back this month, changing the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors is equally important. According to the National Safety Council, more than 1,000 people die or end up in the hospital as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, detectors can provide the only warning that the levels of the lethal gas are too high. Some smoke detectors now come equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, combining two life-saving devices into one. The Home Depot advises homeowners to check the expiration date on any batteries currently in use as well as replacement batteries. For maximum performance, batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. The Home Depot also advises homeowners to be prepared in the event of a power outage or emergency by keeping battery-operated devices such as flashlights, portable TVs and radios, security alarms, cell phones and pagers on-hand and in working order. To coincide with daylight-saving time, homeowners also can make important updates to the exterior of the home. Automatic timers should be reset so that outdoor lights come on earlier, to counteract the early darkness brought on by ending daylight- saving time. There were more than 400,000 robberies in the United States last year, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, and exterior lighting can help deter such crimes at home. Not only can exterior lighting scare away a would- be thief, but it also provides added safety by brightening the outside of the home to improve visibility for residents and guests navigating icy steps and pathways on winter nights. It is also an opportune time to replace aging or worn-out door locks with new handles and deadbolts. A chain or slide lock adds extra peace of mind, while a clean and clear peephole helps to identify visitors. For additional safety measures, The Home Depot recommends checking the security of garage doors, since an unlocked or loose door can be an entry mode for burglars, and adding a universal remote control to the garage door, as it reduces the chance that a stranger's garage door opener will operate it. The survey was fielded by Opinion Research Corporation from September 23 to September 26, 2005 among a sample of 1,000 adult Americans age 18+ using an omnibus method. Respondents were asked about their habits concerning daylight- saving time. The results are representative of, and can be projected to, the American adult population. Founded in 1978, The Home Depot(R) is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2004 sales of $73.1 billion. The company employs approximately 325,000 associates
  2. 2. and has 1,965 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. The company has announced plans for retail expansion into China. The Home Depot has been recognized by Fortune as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer for 2005. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index. HDG SOURCE The Home Depot Jen King of The Home Depot, +1-770-384-4390, or Copyright (C) 2005 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. News Provided by COMTEX