As daylight saving time ends Sunday, the national Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program encourages people to check their smoke detectors and change the batteries as they set clocks back an hour before going to sleep tonight.
National safety organizations and local fire departments offer the following tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
- Install new batteries in all alarms at least once a year.
- Test units monthly by pressing the test button.
- Clean alarms according to manufacturers’ instructions.
- A “chirping” smoke alarm indicates a low battery.
- Do not disable the smoke alarm if it activates because of cooking. Clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm. Consider relocating the alarm.
- Smoke alarms wear out — replace units that are older than 10 years. If in doubt, replace the alarm.
- When replacing an alarm, consider purchasing a “combination” alarm that has sensors to detect both fast spreading fires (ionization alarm) and smoldering fires (photoelectric alarm).