When you set your clocks forward one hour this weekend for the spring time change, Clark County fire and building officials are reminding the public to take a few extra minutes to change the batteries in the smoke detectors in your home. Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8.
Officials say the spring time change is good time of year to get into the potentially life-saving habit of changing batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. "Smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries," said Clark County Fire Chief John Steinbeck. "They provide early warning of a fire and give people additional time to escape."
Officials say when smoke alarms fail to operate it's usually because the batteries aren't working. The National Fire Protection Association also recommends replacing smoke alarms if they are 10 years old.
"Making sure the smoke alarms in your home are properly operating is a low-cost way to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire," said Building & Fire Code Official Jerry Stueve, director of the County's Department of Building and Fire Prevention.
Suggested tips for smoke alarms include:
- It's best to use interconnected smoke alarms, so when one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and replace immediately if they don't respond properly when tested.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and how to respond.
- Chirping alarms are a warning sign that that battery is low and needs to be replaced.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer's instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling.
- Smoke alarms with strobe lights and vibration devices are available for hearing impaired people.
Officials also recommend practicing a home route with your family at least twice a year. Planning includes identifying all possible exists and escape routes in your home, drawing up a plan, and discussing it with everyone in your household. It's best to know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and to make sure all the doors and windows leading outside open easily. A meeting place should be designated a safe distance outside your home where everyone can gather in the event of an emergency. Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 1, with the setting of clocks one hour back.