Turn back your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries

Posted at 5:23 PM, Nov 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:51:11-04
Smoke Alarm
Standard smoke alarm batteries should be changed at least once a year and preferably twice a year. (MTN News file photo)

MISSOULA – Local fire officials are reminding folks that when you turn back your clocks before going to bed Saturday it’s also a good time to change your smoke detector batteries.

The Missoula Rural Fire District reports that statistics show that the death rate per 100 reported home fires is more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms.

MRFD says National Fire Protection Administration statistics show that in fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost 46% of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Dead batteries caused 24% of the smoke alarm failures.

Standard smoke alarm batteries should be changed at least once a year and preferably twice a year. The fall and spring time changes are great reminders for folks to change their smoke alarm batteries, according to MRFD.

Here are a few other tips to ensure that your smoke alarm is functioning properly:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the house including the basement.
  • Install working smoke alarms in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Consider interconnecting your smoke alarms so that if one activates they all activate. This can be done with hard wiring or through wireless technology.
  • Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions yet mitigate false alarms.
  • Smoke rises, so make sure your smoke alarms are installed on the ceiling or high up on a wall.
  • Make sure that everyone in your household knows what the smoke alarms sound like when activated and that they know two ways out of every room.
  • If your smoke alarm is 10 years old or older: replace it.