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Spring Forward and Check Your Smoke Alarms

Star Staff Reports

Spring ForwardSpring forward this Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 a.m. as Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins! “Before going to bed, as you set your clocks forward one hour, test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms,” said Dale Lane, Director Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP). “Home fires are preventable! Having working smoke and CO alarms in the correct location and conducting family drills increases the chances for your survival and the survival of our fire fighters.”

Fire Safety tips from SCOP and the U.S. Fire Administration:

  •   Have a Plan! Hold family fire drills twice a year. Know how to escape two ways out of every room. Ensure windows and doors open easily. Practice feeling your way out of the house in the dark. Have a meeting place outside.
  •   Installation and Location: Hear the beep where you sleep! Install smoke and CO alarms near sleeping areas and on every level of the home. Interconnected alarms are best – when one sounds, they all sound.
  •   Monthly Test: Ensure alarms are working – push the “test” button once a month!
  •   Alarm Maintenance:
     Ensure alarms are dust-free.
     Install new batteries twice a year if your alarms use alkaline batteries. Note that some

    alarms are hard-wired or have a 10-year sealed lithium battery that cannot be removed.  Replace alarms every 10 years. Write the manufacturer’s date on the back of the device.

  •   Do not disable smoke and CO alarms when cooking.
  •   A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  •   When the alarm sounds: Feel doors with the back of your hand before opening. If you feel heat, find another way out. If there is smoke, get low and go! Crawl under smoke to an exit. Get outside and stay outside! Call 911 from a cell phone.
  •   If you cannot afford a smoke alarm, contact your local fire station to apply for one. Resource: U.S. Fire Administration: www.usfa.fema.gov and www.ready.gov/home-fires

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