Daylight saving time ends Sunday, November 1st at 2 a.m., when we fall back one hour. As we set our clocks back, Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins recommends testing your smoke alarms.
Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths in the U.S. occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead. The Columbia Fire Department 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.