At 2 a.m. Sunday, it’s time to “spring forward” by setting clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Saving Time. And while making the important time change, firefighters say it’s also time to do something that could very well save a life.
The “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” program is intended to save lives by ensuring homes always have working smoke detectors. Firefighters remind residents to install fresh batteries when they change their clocks twice each year.
Shawnee Deputy Fire Marshal Rob Rusk said this weekend is the time to change smoke detector batteries and test the alarm.
“It’s also a good idea to practice home escape drills with the whole family,” Rusk said.
Firefighters said having a working smoke detector reduces in half the risk of death from a house fire.
While most homes may have smoke detectors, firefighters often find they are not functioning after a fire occurs because of missing or dead batteries.
“It’s extremely critical,” to check them regularly, Rusk said.
Smoke detectors will usually make a chirping sound indicating they need a fresh battery, so they should always be changed when that occurs. Additionally, Rusk suggests residents also change batteries with the time change each year, which will give a fresh battery once in the spring and once in the fall.
And while some of the new smoke detectors have 10-year batteries, Rusk said those need to be tested at least twice a year.
“Buying an extended life battery sounds good, but you don’t want to take a risk without checking it,” he said.
With any type of detector, monthly tests of smoke detectors also are suggested.
Firefighters also suggest installing and maintaining a working smoke detector outside of every sleep area of a home and having at least one of every level of a home.
The city of Shawnee has a free smoke detector program for those who cannot afford one, Rusk said, and they’ll also provide batteries and even install those. The program is free for those who own their home and live inside the city of Shawnee limits.
For more information, call 405-273-4282.