It's time to change clocks for the annual "fall back" as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end. So, Sunday morning clocks should go back one hour. And, it's an ideal time to check the batteries on all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Because working smoke alarms are a critical element of home fire safety, the West Grove Fire Company and the National Fire Protection Association support any and all efforts to reinforce the importance of working batteries. However, today’s smoke alarms and CO detectors are not all designed the same, making battery messaging more nuanced.
Following is information to help make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries, accounting for the multiple types of smoke alarms on the market and their varying battery requirements:
--Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
--Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
--When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.
As Fire Prevention Month is just ending, changing clocks and checking batteries is a perfect time to show detectors to your children, explain what they are for, involve them in checking the devices, and review home escape plans and meeting points. Many of the younger children in the greater Avon Grove community had recent visits to schools and daycares by WGFC's fire safety programs, and should be familiar with these topics. A video that reviews fire safety education for kids can be found on the home page of our website -- watch it together with the family.
(Image and some content courtesy of the NFPA)