Spring Forward, Time To Change Smoke Detector Batteries

By  | 

News Release: City of Valdosta
Updated: March 6, 2014, 3:30pm

As citizens spring forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time, this Sunday, March 9, at 2 a.m., Valdosta Interim Fire Chief J.D. Rice is using the event to remind citizens to change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

A properly installed and maintained smoke detector is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke detector is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without a working smoke detector. A working smoke detector can help individuals and their loved ones escape a deadly home fire. It can also help save the lives of firefighters who would otherwise have to risk their lives by searching a burning home for residents.

Chief Rice recommends the following simple steps for fire safety in the home:

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. If a family member sleeps with the door closed, install one inside the sleeping area as well.

  • Hallways longer than 30 feet should have a smoke detector at each end.

  • Install smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell.

  • Smoke detectors in kitchens should be kept away from cooking fumes or smoking areas.

  • Install smoke detectors on walls at least 12 inches from the ceiling, not in a corner.

  • Test and clean your smoke detectors on the first day of every month.

  • Sweep them off every month. Too much dust will hinder operation.

  • Most smoke detectors are battery operated. These batteries must be tested on a regular basis and, in most cases, should be replaced at least once or twice annually.

  • Smoke detectors do not last forever. Check the manufacture/expiration date on the smoke detectors and replace as necessary. Replace any smoke detectors that are over 10 years old.

  • Replace batteries if the detector "chirps."

  • Never disable a smoke detector.

“Two out of every five fire deaths are in homes that have no working smoke alarms,” said Chief Rice. “Installing smoke detectors and replacing the batteries during Daylight Savings twice a year are relatively simple tasks that have proven life-saving capabilities.”

The Valdosta Fire Department has a smoke detector installation program. Staff will install free smoke detectors in residences that have none or replace detectors that are not operational. For more information, call the Valdosta Fire Department at (229) 333-1836.

News Release: Associated Press News

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is reminding Georgians to use the transition to daylight saving time this weekend as a chance to also change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

Hudgens says the annual change from standard time to daylight saving time Sunday morning is a good opportunity to make sure smoke alarms are working as they should be.

Hudgens says changing smoke alarm batteries once yearly and cleaning dust from the devices are god ways to make sure families and properties are protected in the event of an emergency. Hudgens says having a working smoke alarm doubles the chances of surviving a house fire.

Hudgens says 31 people have been killed in house fires in Georgia so far this year.