Change batteries in smoke alarms when changing clocks

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – When changing clocks this weekend, the Department of Public Safety urges South Dakotans to also change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning. That means pushing clocks ahead one hour.

State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman says this is also a good time to change the batteries in the smoke alarms. He says smoke alarms save lives.

“Nationally, three of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes that either had no working smoke alarms or none at all,” says Merriman. “Many of those could have been prevented if smoke alarms were present in the home and were properly working. “

Residents can check their smoke alarms by pushing the test button on the alarm. Merriman says if the alarm doesn’t sound, the batteries should be replaced.

“Testing your smoke alarms is a very easy thing to do,” he says. “By making sure the smoke alarms are working in your home, you could protect your family from a tragic incident.”

Additional fire safety tips include:

• At least once a month, press the test button on the smoke alarm. If the alarm does not work, it might be the batteries or the alarm itself.

• For maximum protection, install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.

• Smoke alarms lose sensitivity over time and should be replaced periodically.  They are usually good for about 10 years.

• Make sure your family has an emergency exit plan in case there is a fire in the home. If your family doesn’t have a plan, this is a good time to develop one.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.