Daylight Saving TimeEnds March 14th: Check Smoke Detector Batteries

Daylight Saving TimeEnds March 14th: Check Smoke Detector Batteries

Daylight Saving TimeEnds March 14th: Check Smoke Detector Batteries Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 09 March 2021 02:57

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY -  Spring forward, fall back! Don't forget to turn the clock forward an hour on Sunday March 14th and take time to test your smoke detectors.
Daylight Saving Time began at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 1st and ends at 2:00 AM on March 14th.
When turning the clock forward it's a good practice to change the batteries in your home smoke detectors.
Even though homes built today are required to have smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on every level, if the alarms aren’t functioning properly, they won’t help those people inside. The North Carolina Department of Insurance often hears of people disconnecting their smoke alarms because the devices are too sensitive and are triggered by steam or smoke given off while cooking. A smoke alarm should never be disconnected; instead homeowners should try relocating it farther from kitchens or bathrooms, where cooking fumes and steam can cause the alarm to sound. To protect your home and family, follow these smoke alarm installation and maintenance tips (from NFPA):
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.
• Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire’s location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it gives occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part. Alarms that are hard-wired should have battery backups in case of a power outage, and should be installed by a qualified electrician.
•  If you, or someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and/or sound.
• Regularly vacuuming or dusting your smoke alarms, following the manufacturer’s instructions, can keep them working properly.
• Smoke alarms don’t last forever. Replace yours once every 10 years. If you can’t remember how old the alarm is, then it’s probably time for a new one.
• Consider installing smoke alarms with “long-life” (10-year) batteries.
NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, "Checking your smoke alarm is a very simple step. It only takes a few minutes and it could potentially be the difference between life and death," said Commissioner Causey. "Smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a fire in half, but they need to be in working condition in order to do their job."
Causey explained, "If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), families have about two minutes to get out of their homes once their smoke alarm sounds due to fire. However, those life-saving minutes only occur when alarms are fully powered and operational."
As of October 2020, 94 people in North Carolina died because of fire. In many of those instances, a working smoke alarm was not present in the home.
The NFPA reports three out of every five home fire deaths across the nation resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Of those, in fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than half of them had missing or disconnected batteries after nuisance alarms, such as the alarm going off during cooking.  Dead batteries caused one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures.

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