Change batteries in detectors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 8, 2015

It’s time to “spring forward” and set our clocks ahead one hour.

This signals the official beginning of longer days and, for the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, the time to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

While the days will be getting longer, temperatures remain chilly and those who use freestanding heat sources in their homes would be especially wise to follow the fire marshal’s advice. And those who don’t have smoke detectors need to have them installed immediately. A house fire can happen to anyone, so it is important to have an alert system in place that could save you and your loved ones.

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Here are a few tips from Ohio State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers:

• install a smoke detector on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area;

• develop an escape plan with two ways out and make sure every family member knows what to do and where to meet outside if the fire alarm sounds. Take time to practice both a primary and secondary escape plan, so that if a real emergency occurred, you and your family would know what to do.

• test smoke alarms at least once each month to ensure that they are working properly;

• vacuum the dust from inside the detector at least once every year;

• never “borrow” a smoke detector’s battery for another use;

• change batteries twice a year or if a detector “chirps” to signal low battery power; and

• if you have a smoke alarm that was installed before March 8, 2005, completely replace the unit this weekend.

It only takes a moment to change a battery and that simple act could help save your life.