This year, Daylight Saving Time will begin on Sunday, March 8th. When “springing forward” your clocks, you should also take the time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Proper safety procedure requires that people should test their smoke detectors at least once a month using the “test” button, replace their batteries every six months, and replace the entire smoke detector unit every ten years. To easily track when you replace the batteries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends you change them as daylight saving time begins and as it ends. Most smoke detectors have an area to write the year of initial installation; replace yours after ten years. If you cannot determine when you first installed any of your detectors, replace them and write the year of installation legibly.
Smoke Detector Safety Facts
Over half of the home fires from 2012 to 2016 occurred in homes with either no smoke detectors or no properly working smoke detectors. Dead batteries cause 25% of the smoke detector failures. Since smoke detector failures can lead to a higher risk of death from fire, make sure that you change your smoke detector batteries every six months. Furthermore, the National Fire Protection Association says that the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoking alarms.
DC Smoke Detector Special Information
For rented living spaces in the District of Columbia, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required with rare exceptions. The tenant rights and responsibilities related to detector requirements can be viewed here. If you are a homeowner in DC and living in that home, the DC Fire and EMS Department will provide and install a smoke detector for free in your home.