Daylight Saving – a Time for Fire Safety

Source: Vadim Ratkinoff - 123RF

As Californians spring forward 1 hour, firefighters are urging the public to use the time change as a reminder to check smoke alarms and replace the batteries if necessary.

CBSLA reports that approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

Since most fatal fires occur at night, it’s essential that every home has working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent.

It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems.

Fire officials offered the following tips on handling and maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home or apartment.
  • If the devices are hardwired into your electrical system, be sure to have a backup battery-operated smoke detector in case of a power outage.
  • Mount alarms high on walls, at least four to 12 inches from the ceiling.
  • Never paint over a smoke detector.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove lint or dust.
  • Test the smoke detectors regularly. If the smoke detector “chirps” it is an indication of a low battery, which should be changed.

According to the fire department, smoke alarms are designed to last up to 10 years, but battery life spans are far shorter, and whenever daylight saving or standard time arrives, officials recommend replacing batteries as a precaution.

It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems.

Households with separate carbon monoxide detectors should also install new batteries in those devices to be safe, officials said.

The Automobile Club of Southern California also warned drivers to be on the lookout for school children and other pedestrians, since it will be dark for an hour longer in the mornings.

Daylight saving lasts until Nov. 3.