Daylight Saving: A Reminder To Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

Replace Battery in Smoke Alarm

This Sunday is daylight saving time (DST). Around the world people will “spring” their clocks forward one hour for the purpose of getting better use of daylight (however, they may not “spring” out of bed in the morning when they lose an hour of sleep). While the practice of DST is highly debated in the U.S., the twice-a-year time adjustment also serves as a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Facts

Twice a year may seem like a lot to check the batteries in a smoke alarm, until you consider its life-saving capabilities. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 2,560 people die in home fires every year – most of these deaths take place in homes without working smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms fall in one of two categories: battery-powered or hard-wired. From 9-volt batteries to electrical systems, no matter what powers the alarm, most can be tested in the same way.

How to Test Your Smoke Alarm

Establish a routine and test your smoke alarms during DST.

  1. Alert those around you that a test will be conducted – the high pitch of the alarm is designed to startle people, and it is nice to give advanced warning. If the alarm at your facility or home is wired to alert a security system, notify the company of the test beforehand.
  2. Ask someone to go to a part of the house that is the farthest from the alarm. Not only is it important that the alarm works, but that it can be heard loud and clear from all parts of the house.
  3. Push and hold the test button of the smoke alarm – it may take a few seconds, but the alarm should sound. If it does not, replace the batteries (and back-up batteries), and clear the alarm of any dust before you try again.
  4. Test if the alarm responds to smoke with either a smoke alarm test aerosol, or by carefully lighting a match and extinguishing it beneath the alarm. If the smoke test does not sound the alarm, try replacing the batteries even if they worked for the test button – it is important that the alarm works for both tests. Test again with the new batteries. If the alarm still does not respond, it will need to be replaced.

Smoke alarms play a large role in saving lives every year. Use DST as a reminder to check your batteries so they’re ready when you need them.

Sources:

Fire Is Everyone’s Fight™ by the U.S. Fire Administration | Federal Emergency Management
How to Test a Smoke Detector by wikiHow
Test Smoke Alarms by Allstate

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The following two tabs change content below.

Speak Your Mind

*