Daylight Saving Time officially begins Sunday, March 12th at 2 am when the time “springs ahead” one hour to 3 am. When we change our clocks we should also change the batteries in our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The phrase “change your clocks, change your batteries” is meant to remind everyone of this important life safety act. The majority of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. When smoke alarms fail to operate it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Even if your smoke alarms are hardwired into your home’s electric they also have a battery that needs to be changed so your smoke alarms will still operate during a power outage. Some smoke alarms have ten year batteries from the manufacturer that do not need to be changed while other smoke alarms have disposable batteries that need to be changed at least once a year.
There should be a smoke alarm on every level of your home, including your basement. Smoke alarms should also be located in hallways outside of bedrooms and inside of bedrooms. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they fail to test regardless of their age. All smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years even if they seem to be operating just fine.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also necessary life safety devices. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can build up in your home when fuel burns incompletely. Some potential sources of carbon monoxide gas include gas fired heating or cooking appliances and fireplaces when the flue is not opened during use. Some carbon monoxide detectors have a five year battery installed by the manufacturer. Other detectors are battery operated or plug directly into an outlet. The detectors that plug into an outlet also have a battery so they can continue to operate during a power outage. Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year to ensure that they are able to function properly. A carbon monoxide detector should be located within fifteen feet of bedrooms. Test your carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace them every five years or earlier if they fail to test properly.
Technology is always advancing for these life saving devices and new features are becoming more available as a result of these advancements, for example combined smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors that will last for ten years. For more information on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors please visit the National Fire Protection Association web site at and You may also call the Plainfield Fire Protection District at 815-436-5335 ext. 7314 or visit our web site at