Daylight savings time begins Sunday, March 13, and Sarasota County Emergency Services officials are reminding the community to change out batteries in smoke alarms and weather radios. According to key findings in a 2021 National Fire Prevention Association report, almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that failed to operate.
According to Sarasota County Emergency Services director Rich Collins, residents should also take the following precautions:
- Ensure smoke alarms are on every level of the home as well as inside and outside any sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms monthly to be sure they work properly. A "chirping" sound from a smoke alarm means the battery needs to be changed immediately.
- Make it a habit to replace the batteries in smoke alarms when adjusting clocks for the time change.
- Smoke alarms are good for 10 years before they should be replaced. Writing the purchase date with a marker on the back of the smoke alarm helps remind you when it has reached its 10-year life-span.
- Use weather radios that have Specific Area Message Encoding. Other than a weekly test, the radio will only alert when there are concerns for the programmed counties.
For additional information regarding weather radios, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at (941) 861-5000 or click here.