Fire Authorities Urge Smoke Alarm Checks at Daylight Savings

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, March 11, and fire authorities are issuing reminders to change the batteries in your smoke alarms when setting your clocks forward.

Daylight Saving Time for most of the country starts Sunday, March 11, and fire authorities are issuing reminders to change the batteries in your smoke alarms when setting your clocks forward.

"Having a working smoke alarm saves lives by giving you and your family an early warning of a potential emergency, which is why I urge all New Yorkers to check their smoke alarms, and if you do not have one, install one immediately where you sleep and on every level of your home," New York Fire Department Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, one home structure fire was reported every 90 seconds in 2016. NFPA reports that almost all U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm, but three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes that either had no working smoke alarms or none at all.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recommends the following smoke alarm guidelines:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home.
  • Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4 inches from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12 inches from the ceiling. Do not install smoke alarms near draft areas.  
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable, long-life batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the low-battery alarm chirps, replace the entire alarm immediately.
  • For other smoke alarms, replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Test your smoke alarm every month by holding down the test button.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
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