Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries
Sunday, March 14 is Daylight Saving Time. It’s time to “spring forward” one hour. When you change your clocks, it is also time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.
While phones, computers, and tablets may change themselves, it’s up to you to keep yourself and your family safe by changing your smoke alarm batteries. Working smoke alarms save lives. That tell-tale beeping can get everyone out safely and avoid tragedy.
A study by
the National Fire Protection Agency found that almost three out of five home
fire deaths resulted from fires in properties with no smoke alarms (40%) or no
working smoke alarms (17%). But, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in
half in homes with working smoke alarms. (Source:
NFPA, Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires).
An alarm should be installed on every floor of your home, in every bedroom, and outside of all sleeping areas. Here are some tips to installing smoke alarms:
- Best place to mount your smoke alarm is on the ceiling
- Keep smoke alarms at least 4-6 inches away from the nearest wall
- Always test your newly installed smoke alarm
- If you cannot mount the alarm on the ceiling, install it high on the wall 4-12 inches from the ceiling
It’s simple: the more alarms you have, the greater your chances are of surviving a fire. Don’t skimp on smoke alarms around the home! However, just installing a smoke alarm is NOT enough. It needs to be tested monthly and the batteries changed every year. Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
As well as working smoke alarms, every household should have an evacuation plan. Practice it! Make sure everyone knows how to get out and where to meet. Never go back inside a burning building! If someone is missing, inform the dispatcher when you call 911. Firefighters have the proper training to perform rescues.
A working smoke alarm can decrease a family’s risk of dying in a fire by nearly 50%. Batteries from household smoke alarms may be recycled at your nearest household hazardous waste recycling facility.
Get a list of household hazardous waste locations and additional fire safety information.