With daylight saving time here once again, everyone knows to turn clocks back an hour to the appropriate new time. But there's one more crucial task that should also be completed with every anniversary of turning the clocks: changing the batteries in smoke alarms, too.
For the last 29 years, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have worked to get the word out: When you change the clock for daylight saving time, take the time to also change the batteries in smoke alarms and smoke detectors.
“A working smoke alarm can give you and your family the critical extra seconds to make a safe escape from a fire,” said John Sinclair, fire chief of Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue and emergency manager for the City of Ellensburg in Washington state.
Don't skip this important chore
This isn’t a feel-good idea, folks. It could save your life. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half,” Sinclair explained. And the reason almost 71 percent of those smoke alarms failed to operate was because they had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Don’t make excuses. Change the batteries when you change the clocks!
While you’re at it, Sinclair urges everyone to check and change batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and other safety monitors in your home. But don’t stop there. Offer to change and check batteries in all of these devices for elderly family members or neighbors, too.
When to replace smoke alarms and detectors
Before you head to the store to buy batteries, you should know that the IAFC suggests replacing smoke detectors and smoke alarms every 10 years. How old are your smoke detectors and smoke alarms? Don’t rely on outdated or worn-out devices to protect your family. Replace them. Can you think of a better use of that hour you’re going to gain this weekend?