You Changed Your Clocks, Now It's Time to Check Your Smoke Alarms


Hopefully, you remembered to set your clocks one hour forward last night before you went to bed. If not, then you need to do change them now as Daylight Savings Time (DST) has begun.

Daylight Savings time is a wonderful reminder both in the spring and in the fall to check the batteries in your fire alarms. Doing so may save a life – yours or a family members – as well as your home.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that a 2008 survey found that 96% of U.S. households had at least one smoke alarm. Nearly two-thirds of reported deaths in home fires occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

NFPA reports that most smoke alarms fail to work simply due to batteries missing, disconnected, or dead. Use DST as a reminder to check the batteries in your home smoke alarms. Your families life may depend on them.

NFPA gives some simple steps and tips:


• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. The alarms should be interconnected so that if one sounds, they all sound.

• An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed.

• Smoke rises so it is important to install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save the manufacturer's instructions for testing and maintenance reference.

• Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year or better yet use DST changes in the spring and fall to remind you. If an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. Never leave a unit without a battery.

• Children are heavy sleepers. If you have children, test the smoke alarm when they're sleeping to see if it will wake them in case of a fire.

National Fire Protection Association