Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m., when we spring forward one hour for the purpose of making better use of daylight. As we set our clocks ahead, the Gallup Fire Department recommends testing your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important safety devices in your home. Because of this, it is extremely important that these devices be maintained properly. The beginning of daylight savings time is a good reminder to make sure that these items are in good working condition.
Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it us usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead. The Gallup Fire department recommends the following guidelines around smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone int he home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Replace the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector immediately if it doesn't respond properly when tested.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (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 and carbon monoxide detectors with any other type of batter, replace batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
- They should also be cleaned whenever the batteries are changed. follow your manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning technique. Cleaning generally involved using a vacuum cleaner to remove built-up dust particles.
- When installing a new alarm or detector mark it with the installation date, so you known when it is to be replaced. It's a good idea to mark it in a place where you will see it when replacing the batteries so that you will have an easy reminder.