Turn back the clock an hour; change that smoke detector battery

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This weekend, as you are changing your clocks back an hour, the Barrow County Emergency Services personnel urges you to take on another task.

“When you change the time on your clocks this weekend, we want to ask you to change the batteries in your smoke alarms,” said Lt. Scott Dakin. “We also ask that you clean your smoke alarms and test them to make sure they are in good working order. We know without any doubt that a working smoke alarm saves lives.”

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, almost two thirds of all fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or worse, in homes where the smoke alarms were not working. When a fire occurs the smoke from the flames spread fast and the early warning from a smoke alarm can give you the time needed to get out.

At least one working smoke alarm should be installed on every level of the home, and it is recommended that one be placed in each bedroom and outside each sleeping area of the home. If possible they should all be interconnected so that when one goes off they all sound. They should be tested monthly and the batteries changed twice a year. When changing the batteries you should also clean the smoke alarm of dust and anything else that may hamper its ability to work properly. You should also replace smoke alarms every ten years.

There are two ways that a smoke alarm senses smoke. An ionization alarm reacts quicker to open free burning fires, while a photoelectric alarm reacts quicker to a smoldering fire. It is recommended for the best protection that citizens utilize a dual sensor smoke alarm. This will give them both the ionization and the photoelectric system.

“Working smoke alarms more than double your chances of surviving a house fire. They are an integral part of keeping your family safe and should be maintained properly,” said Lt. Dakin. “Changing your batteries is an important part of keeping them working and an easy way to remember to do that is to change them when you the time changes.”