Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend, and when you turn your clocks forward by an hour (or your phone and computer does it for you automatically), Hamilton Fire Chief Philip Stevens also recommends your change the battery in your smoke detectors.
Clocks move head by an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
Even hardwired detectors have batteries, Stevens said, and he reminds residents to also change the battery in your carbon monoxide detectors too. If a smoke alarm uses regular batteries, those batteries should be changed at least once a year.
Otherwise, a “chirping” sound indicates that it is time to change the batteries. If your smoke alarms are 10 years old or more, it is time to replace them. There is a label on the alarm with the date of manufacture, but if it doesn’t have a label, it’s already more than 10 years old.
Senior citizens can call the Hamilton Fire Department for help, if needed, Stevens said.
Smoke detectors are important because when fire strikes, residents may have less than one minute to safely get out of their home. Working smoke alarms in your home can double your chance of survival if a fire occurs. Smoke alarms can’t help you if they are missing or don’t work.
Smoke detectors have cut home fire deaths in half since the 1970s, but 40% of the fire deaths that occur each year in the U.S. happen in the 4% of homes without working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms should be installed throughout the home and tested monthly. Alarms should never be disabled while cooking. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home, in hallways outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairways, at the base of cellar stairs and inside the bedroom for sound sleepers or smokers. All homes in Massachusetts are required to have smoke alarms.
Once a month, it is recommended that you vacuum or blow out dust from the alarms and push the test button.