With the upcoming change to daylight saving time on March 10, fire departments says it's an easy reminder to replace the batteries in smoke alarms as you change your clocks an hour ahead.
In a fire, working smoke alarms in a home can mean the difference between life and death. "Smoke detectors are your first line of awareness. It's real important they're installed and that the batteries are operating. Changing the batteries each time the time changes. It's important and a simple yet effective way of ensuring it works when it counts," said Captain Mann in Raleigh County. The minimum protection for homes is one smoke alarm outside of each sleeping room, and one on each level of the home including the basement.
Residents should use batteries recommended by the manufacturer and make sure they are firmly connected to the smoke alarm contacts. Remember if a smoke alarm starts making "chirping" noise, it's a signal battery levels are low and need to be replaced. Dusting smoke detector surfaces and vacuuming the air vents regularly will keep dust and spider webs from fouling detection elements or causing false alarms. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly and new batteries should be installed at least once a year.
Most fire departments will install smoke alarms for free and many program exist that provide free detectors for those in need.