Fire Marshal Urges Citizens to Change Batteries When Changing Clock

March 6, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – This weekend is time again to spring ahead and replace the old with the new.

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning. That means pushing clocks ahead one hour.  At the same time, South Dakotans are being reminded that this is also a good time to change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

“National statistics indicate that two of every three home fire deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms,” says state Fire Marshal Paul Merriman. “Just as bad is the number of fires that happen in homes where the smoke alarms are not working because of dead or missing batteries.”

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,” says Fire Marshal Merriman. “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 smoke alarm.

• 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.

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