Many local fire departments are using Daylight Saving Time as an opportunity to remind people to check their fire detector batteries.
Officials said all too often batteries are left in detectors for years without being changed. Mike Smith, of the Southport Volunteer Fire Department said for years fire departments have been encouraging people to check their batteries while they’re changing the time on their clocks.
“The daylight savings time that occurs, the change that occurs both of the spring in the fall is a good time to remind people about the need to change the batteries in their smoke detectors and to check their carbon monoxide detectors,” Smith said. “So there’s been a theme for many years about change your clock change your batteries.”
Smith said it’s important to make sure your fire detectors have working batteries in them at all times because they’re usually the first line of defense in the event of a fire.
“I cannot tell you how many times we go to structure fires and we discover that people have removed the battery for some reason,” Smith said. “They had some other appliance that they needed a battery for and they took it from the smoke detector, or the smoke detector went off because they were cooking and there was some smoke and they disconnected the battery but left it in place and never reconnected it. And these are recipes really for disaster.”
Smith said New York State law now requires that new fire detector batteries have a 10 year life span, but until you’ve replaced all the detectors in your home, testing the batteries twice a year is still a good precaution to take.