Time To Test Your Smoke Alarms

Butte County, Calif. March 8, 2018 – Daylight Savings Time begins March 11, and that means it’s time to set your clocks forward one hour. But that’s not the only household item that needs your attention this time of year. It’s time to test your smoke alarms too.

In the past, it was recommended that smoke alarm batteries be replaced twice a year, at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time. Modern smoke alarms, however, have done away with the need for replacing batteries. Most units in production today have long life, non-replaceable batteries lasting up to 10 years. But just because you don’t have to change their batteries, doesn’t mean you can ignore them. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the “Test” button.

Here’s what you need to know:

• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
• Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced than ever, to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
• When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
• Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Don’t become a statistic:

• In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
• Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
• No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.
• The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
• In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
• Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.