Change smoke alarm batteries when you ‘spring ahead’

Just a reminder to turn clocks forward one hour Sunday at 2 a.m. (AP Graphic)
Just a reminder to turn clocks forward one hour Sunday at 2 a.m. (AP Graphic)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office urges residents to change batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time they change their clocks to Daylight Saving Time this Sunday.

In a press release, Indiana State Fire Marshal James Greeson told News 18 that time changes are a good reminder to check emergency detectors in your home.

“The annual change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time is a good reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working and have new batteries,” said Greeson. “So far this year, there have been more than 30 fire fatalities in Indiana and several of those occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm. There’s no question that working smoke alarms save lives.”

Greeson said all Indiana residents should have at least one working smoke detector in their residence. He said many fire stations and organizations offer free smoke alarms, especially to low-income families, seniors or at-risk families.

According to Greeson, the best advice is to have a smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area. At the minimum, there should be one alarm on each floor of the home, including the basement.

Here are more tips to consider:

  • Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.
  • Purchase long-life smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries. Regular batteries should be changed at least once a year, preferably twice.
  • Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
  • Occasionally remove any dust from the front of the smoke alarm.
  • Devise a family escape plan and practice it at least every six months. Plans should include at least two different ways each family member could escape various parts of the house. Designate a special place outside of the home where family members are to meet after escaping a fire.
  • For those renting a home or apartment, it is the landlord’s responsibility to have at least one working smoke alarm and it’s the law.

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 9, at 2 a.m. when clocks should “spring forward” one hour.

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