Staff at the Columbia-Richland Fire Department are encouraging citizens to not waste the opportunity to check their smoke alarms when it comes time to ‘Spring Forward’ on Sunday March 14th.
“When you set your clocks forward one hour this Sunday for Daylight Savings Time also be sure to change the batteries in ALL the smoke alarms in your home or business. It’s a perfect reminder to help ensure that you and your loved ones are safe in the event a fire breaks out,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “If something catches fire you want your smoke alarms to be working.”
Roughly 3 out of every 5 fire-related deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Not all smoke alarms are designed the same, which is why it’s important to know what kinds of alarms you have in your home and whether or not they require replaceable batteries.
Here’s a few tips from NFPA on assessing the smoke alarms that you own:
- Smoke alarms with internal 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.
During the year citizens are also encouraged to test their smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure they are functioning properly. Alarms should also be placed inside and outside all sleeping areas of the home and on every floor of the home.
Replaceable batteries in Carbon-Monoxide (CO) alarms on your property should also be changed during Daylight Savings Time in order to keep you and others safe from the threat of CO emissions.