It's Time To Change Those Clocks And Batteries
On March 14, residents will wake up and set their clocks forward one hour in observance of Daylight Saving Time. I urge everyone to take this opportunity to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Homeowners with alarms that have sealed, non-removable batteries should test the alarms to see if they are functional.
Batteries in these life saving devices should be changed twice a year and homeowners should test alarms monthly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or without working smoke alarms.
During a fire, smoke and fire spreads quickly and every second counts. Smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing home fire deaths and injuries. Everyone in the house should know how to reach the closest exit if they are awakened by the smoke alarm.
Many residents have been at home more or have moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners and renters should make sure there are enough smoke alarms in the home and that they are functioning.
Smoke alarms equipped with sealed, non-removable batteries are nearly impossible to disable and require little maintenance. These detectors usually are equipped with a 10-year battery and should also be tested.
Here are some safety tips to follow:
•Test alarms at least once a month by using the test button.
•If you have a smoke alarm with a removable battery, be sure to check the batteries every six months and change the batteries at least every year. If a battery is starting to lose its power, the unit will usually chirp to warn you. Do not disable the unit.
•Vacuum or blow out any dust that might accumulate in the unit.
•Never borrow a battery from an alarm to use somewhere else.
•Never paint a smoke or CO alarm.
•Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement and in or near each sleeping area.
•Smoke alarms should not be installed near a window because drafts could interfere with their operation.
•Families should also develop and practice a home fire escape plan.
•Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.
If you have any questions or need assistance with changing the batteries in your detectors or need help testing them, please feel free to contact The Guilford Fire Department at 203-453-8056.