REMINDER: Check Your Clocks, Smoke Alarms As You 'Spring Forward' This Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 9 at 2 a.m.

As we prepare to change our clocks this weekend and "spring forward" by an hour, the state's firefighting agency wants to remind the public to change another household feature.

Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 9 at 2 a.m.  At that time, we'll jump right to 3 a.m.

And while you're changing any clocks around your house on Sunday morning (or Saturday night if you want to head ahead of the game), Cal Fire suggests you also take the time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms.  

“The time change is a great opportunity to spend a few minutes making sure our home’s smoke alarms are in good working conditions and installed in the proper locations,” stated California State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “Most people know how critical smoke alarms are, but forget to maintain them.”

According to Cal Fire, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire by half.  

"For years fire officials have asked homeowners to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms annually, but a recent law in California requires new smoke alarms to be equipped with a 10-year long-life lithium battery that doesn’t need to be replaced until the entire device is replaced after 10 years," a Cal Fire news release stated.  "It is still critical for residents to test their older alarms and replace old alkaline batteries annually."

Here are some smoke alarm safety tips courtesy of Cal Fire:

  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly using the test button to ensure they are operating correctly.
  • Properly install and maintain smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
  • Replace older alarm’s alkaline batteries every year, or when the alarm signals (“chirps”) the end of the battery life. If you don’t know the battery type - check and replace.
  • Inspect, test and clean smoke alarms at least once every year
  • Replace the smoke alarm itself at least every ten years.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms are best, because if one sounds, they all sound.
  • Use both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor smoke alarms.
  • Never paint over a smoke alarm.
  • Practice exit drills so everyone understands what to do when they hear a smoke alarm.

For more information on smoke alarms, visit: http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_smokealarms.php.


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