It's that time of year, time to "fall back," change your clock and maybe get an extra hour of sleep.

At the same time, it's important to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

We, along with the State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann urge residents to do just that. Mr. Mann explains, "Tragically, every year in Pennsylvania, people require medical treatment or even die due to carbon monoxide poisoning. These devices are not expensive, they save lives, and once they're installed, need to be maintained regularly."

A news release from the commissioner states: Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Worn or missing batteries are the most common cause of a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector malfunction. Changing the batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tragic deaths and injuries.

The release also explains: Carbon monoxide is created when combustible materials burn incompletely. Often called "the silent killer," it is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can incapacitate victims before they're aware they've been exposed. Sources include wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired appliances, grills, generators and motor vehicles. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for the flu and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue.

Many homes rely on the same detectors they'e had in their homes for decades. Besides changing the batteries regularly, these devices should be replaced about every 8 to 10 years. Stay safe. Take a few minutes to update your families fire safety practices.