Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries
By Vice President / Lieutenant Scot Best
March 8, 2024

Daylight saving time officially starts this weekend on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m.

The Ridge VFD encourages everyone to test and change your batteries in your smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors.

"Change your clock, change your battery" is a bi-annual fire safety campaign promoting the importance of working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms provide a vital early warning signal in the event of a fire.

A good time to remember to check your smoke alarms and change the batteries is when you change your clocks twice a year as Daylight Savings Time begins and ends.

People do not realize that when they are asleep they cannot smell smoke. That is why smoke alarms are essential to ensure people sleeping in a house wake up and evacuate if a fire breaks out. Most fatal fires occur at night. Every home needs working smoke alarms to provide an early warning.

Along with changing smoke alarm batteries, it is also a great time to make sure you and your family are fire-safe in your home. Remember to:

1. Install smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4” from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12” from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.).

2. Prepare and practice an escape plan! Crawl low under smoke. Plan where to meet outside. Once you are out, stay out!

3. Check the date of manufacture stamped on the device. Smoke detectors lose their efficacy after 10 years and require replacement. Upgrade to the newer 10-year sealed lithium battery smoke detectors and you will not have to worry about replacing the batteries at all for up to a decade.

4. If possible, use interconnected smoke alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.

5. Smoke alarms save lives.

Monitoring your house's safety measures is now more important than ever. The average time to escape a home fire has gone from 17 minutes to just three minutes or less in the past few decades due to the increased use of synthetics in furniture and home construction, according to safety organization UL.