Change Clocks, Change Smoke Alarm Batteries on March 8

A simple task can save a life.  That’s why the Folsom Fire Department is reminding you to change the batteries in your home smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks on March 8 for Daylight Saving Time. 

The Folsom Fire Department joins public safety agencies nationwide to inform communities about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home. The importance is underscored by the information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission: your chance of surviving a house fire doubles if there are working smoke detectors in your home.

Although smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries might last as long as a year, the experts say they should be changed twice yearly: at the return of standard time on the first Sunday in November, and then again when clocks are changed to daylight-savings time on the second Sunday in March.

Even if your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are “hard wired” into your home electrical system, they most likely have backup batteries to make sure the detectors work during a power failure. It is also important to use the proper kind of batteries. Ordinarily alkaline batteries are best. The “Ni-Cad” and other rechargeable batteries designed for high-tech electronics are not suited for smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

As well as changing the batteries twice a year it is also important to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly by pressing the test button.

There should be one smoke detector in every bedroom, along with a detector outside each sleeping area and a carbon monoxide detector should be installed on each floor of the residence at least five feet above the floor level. To increase the level of protection, consider installing detectors that are interconnected, so that all detectors sound an alarm as soon as one detects smoke or carbon monoxide. Because smoke rises, it is important to install all smoke detectors high on the wall or on the ceiling. Always follow the written installation instructions provided by the manufacturer at the time of purchase.

For more information on home fire safety, or to request assistance with checking smoke detectors and batteries, please contact the City of Folsom Fire Department at 984-2280.