Change clocks, change batteries this weekend
Remember that as you change your clocks ahead on Sunday, March 9, it’s the perfect time to change the batteries in home smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors, as well.
Even “hard-wired” smoke detectors that are plugged in to the home’s electrical supply typically have a nine-volt backup battery to keep the detectors operating in case of a power outage. Often they will “chirp” when the batteries are dying – that means to change the batteries, don’t disconnect or disable the devices!
While changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, make sure to test the audible alarm by pushing the button; check that the vents are clean and not clogged with dust; and check the manufacture date. Typically, detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
At least one smoke alarm should be placed on every level of the home. The most important location is near the bedrooms to provide an early warning to all sleeping occupants. A smoke alarm should also be placed inside every bedroom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly install a smoke alarm.
Smoke detectors, plain and simply, save lives. Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire.
In addition to changing your smoke alarm batteries this weekend the City of Batavia Fire Department recommends following these simple steps to protect your life, your loved ones and your home:
• Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when you change the batteries.
• Test alarms once a month using the test button.
• Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested.
• Make sure everyone in your home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
Finally, prepare and practice an escape plan so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely should there be a fire. Plan to meet in a place a safe distance from the fire and where first responders can easily see you.
The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm and battery installation program. For information about the free smoke alarm and battery installation program, City of Batavia residents should contact the City of Batavia Fire Department at (585) 345-6375.