Spring forward safely by changing your clocks, batteries during daylight saving time

  • Published
  • By Fire and Emergency Services
  • DLA Installation Management Richmond

Fire and Emergency Services personnel are encouraging employees to change batteries in smoke alarms when they change their clocks for daylight saving time March 13.

That’s right, it’s time to change your batteries again. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Campaign, which is semi-annual, serves as a reminder to change out batteries in alarms (smoke, carbon monoxide, etc.) Also, it can serve as a reminder to not just to check the batteries in your alarms, but every piece of equipment you may rely on in an emergency that uses batteries – including emergency radios and  flashlights.

According to some statistics shared by the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties with smoke detectors present but not working.
  • More than 38% of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

The U.S. Fire Administration provides answers to these common questions:

  • When should I replace my smoke alarms? If your smoke alarms are 10 years old or older, replace them with new alarms.
  • What types of smoke alarms should I buy? This is a not an easy question to answer due to not all fires being the same. However, they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric. There are also dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors. Also, choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.

If a smoke alarm sounds while you're cooking or taking a shower with lots of steam, do not remove the battery. You should open a window or door and press the “hush” button, wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air and move the entire alarm several feet away from the kitchen or bathroom.

Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a deadly mistake.