Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 1, and the Sarasota County Fire Department is encouraging residents to use the time change as a reminder to test and replace batteries in smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms can save lives by giving residents an early warning and a chance to escape to safety. Follow these tips for proper installation and maintenance:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside sleeping areas. This is especially important if you sleep with the bedroom door closed.
- Keep smoke alarms clean. Dust can interfere with how smoke alarms work, so it helps to regularly clean them.
- The "chirping" noise smoke alarms make could mean the battery power is low. Replace the batteries as soon as possible.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms when adjusting your clocks for the time change.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, as they do wear out. Write the purchase date on the back of the smoke alarm to help you remember when to replace it.
The time change is also a good reminder to change the batteries inside weather radios, which can keep you informed in the event of severe weather. If you or someone you know cannot afford a smoke alarm or would like more information about them, contact the Sarasota County Fire Prevention Office at (941) 861-2290. For additional information regarding weather radios, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at (941) 861-5000.