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Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries

a clock and a smoke alarm

Daylight saving time ends on Saturday, Nov. 5 and Buncombe County residents will be turning their clocks back one hour. This is a great opportunity to change your home's smoke alarm batteries as well. 

Did you know?

  • Working smoke alarms decrease the chances of dying in a home fire by 55%.
  • In today’s fires, families have an average of 2 minutes to get out of their homes once the smoke alarm sounds.
  • 134 fire deaths occurred across North Carolina in 2021, and many of those homes did not have working smoke alarms.
  • 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths across the nation result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Dead batteries cause 25% of the smoke alarm failures; hardwired power source problems cause 7% of the failures. 

Top safety tips:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home outside sleeping areas. If bedroom doors are kept shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
  • Prepare and practice an escape plan – know at least two ways to get out of a room, crawl low under smoke and plan where to meet outside.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by regularly vacuuming over and around it. Dust and debris can interfere with the smoke alarm's operation.
  • Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors, or ducts that can interfere with proper operation.
  • Never remove the battery or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try moving it away from kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old for sealed alarms, and when the time changes for alarms with replaceable batteries, change your batteries.

Working smoke alarms are a critical element of home fire safety, and not all smoke alarms are designed the same.

Make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries, accounting for the multiple types of smoke alarms on the market and their varying battery requirements:

Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.

Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

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Updated Oct 31, 2023 02:20 PM
Published Oct 31, 2023 02:00 PM