Traditionally, Daylight Saving Time means changing your clock AND changing the batteries for your smoke detectors. Included among important chores for maintaining household safety is proper smoke detector upkeep – testing your alarm and changing the batteries. In addition, you should replace your smoke detectors every 10 years to ensure that they function properly.
Normally, local fire departments offer free smoke detectors and installation around the same time as Daylight Saving Time changes as a safety initiative. However, this year, most fire departments have opted to cancel the program due to the COVID pandemic. Contact your local fire department and ask whether the initiative will be in effect this year. If you are not a DC homeowner, check with your local department to see if they offer similar programs.
The U.S Fire Administration Division of FEMA offers helpful safety guidelines for fire prevention:
- “One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a “Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.”
- Place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of every level of your home and both inside and outside bedrooms. Children and older people can sleep though the loud sound of a smoke alarm. Make sure your escape plan includes someone that can help children and others wake up immediately to escape from the home.
- If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom.
- Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.
- If you rent, talk to your landlord about placing a working smoke alarm in your home. You still need to buy a new battery at least once a year for the alarm.”
We encourage our readers to practice safe maintenance for their smoke detectors. The lives of your family members may depend on it.