It’s that time of year again. We’ll be setting the clocks back this weekend which is the perfect time to change the batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home.

“After changing the batteries in your detectors, give your furnace a visual once over,” said Middlesex County Fire Marshall Mike Gallagher. “Be sure all the furnace controls and shut-offs are working properly. If you need any repairs, leave them to the qualified specialists. Don’t attempt to make repairs by yourself.”

If your furnace is hot or if there is any discoloring around it, additional piping, insulation or clearance may be required. Remove any trash or other combustibles from around the heating system to avoid any fires.

Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. “There is a test button on them and when the battery is going dead, the device will make a chirping noise,” said Gallagher. “When you turn your heat on for the first time, there may be dust particles in your detectors that will make them chirp. Blow them out and make sure they are clear of particles.”

Nationwide, more than 400 people die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and 20,000 are hospitalized. “Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, but it’s also very toxic. You’re first line of defense against it is your carbon monoxide detector,” said Gallagher.