CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Daylight Saving Time begins in the U.S. at 2 a.m. Sunday, March. 8, 2020. The W.Va. State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds everyone to turn their clocks ahead one hour and to also change the batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and other home safety items.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The NFPA provides the following guidelines for smoke alarms:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
- Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
In addition to changing batteries, now is a good time to make sure to create or update a fire safety plan. Every family should have a fire safety plan, ensuring that every family member is prepared if an emergency occurs.
Anyone without working smoke alarms can contact the America Red Cross at (844) 216-8286 to schedule an appointment for a free installation.