Time to change smoke detector batteries

It may not feel like spring outside, but clocks across the U.S. will spring forward with the arrival of Daylight Savings Time this weekend. Firefighters say this is also a good time to start thinking about fire safety.

Having a smoke or carbon monoxide detector without power is just as unsafe as having no detector at all. Firefighters recommend installing fresh batteries in smoke detectors when setting your clocks. A bit of spring cleaning can also help to improve safety.

“It’s a good idea this time of year to make sure that all the dust or dirt is vacuumed off of your detectors,” Marquette City Fire Inspector Ian Davis said. “It can cause them to either false alarm or to not work. Your chances double of surviving a residential structure fire by having working smoke detectors in your house.”

Detectors should be tested monthly and should be replaced every ten years. Carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced every two to ten years, depending on the manufacturer. Spring offers the perfect opportunity for households to discuss fire safety.

“It’s also a good idea to practice what to do if they go off. A lot of kids aren’t going to understand what that is when they hear it if they’ve never heard it before,” Davis said. “So it’s a good idea to get together with your family, plan out your home escape plan, and practice it.”

Many fire departments offer free smoke detector programs to those in need.  Residents can contact their local fire department to ask about the programs available.