Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery/Test Your Alarm
Sunday, March 12th Daylight Savings Time Begins
Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 12th and the Columbia Fire Department would like to remind citizens of the City of Columbia and Richland County that as they set their clocks an hour forward, they should also change the batteries and test each smoke alarm.
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 is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead. NFPA provides the following guidelines around smoke alarms:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Replace the smoke alarm 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 with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
Children and seniors are at increased risk of dying in a home fire because of the lack of mobility, fear and confusion. Make sure everyone in your home recognizes the sound of the home’s smoke alarm and teach them to respond instinctively to its signal.
Smoke Alarm Placement
Smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years. Smoke alarm should be place on each level of the home, one outside of each sleeping area, and one in each bedroom. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling or on the wall 6 to 12 inches from the ceiling. Along with the installation of smoke alarms, a family should sit down and discuss a fire escape plan and practice exit drills in the home. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.
The Columbia Fire Department encourages City of Columbia and Richland County citizens who can’t afford to purchase smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector or those not capable of installing them to contact the Columbia Fire Department’s Fire Education Office by completing the online request form: www.columbiarichlandfire.net/request-a-smoke-alarm/.