Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery

Can you believe how fast the time flies? We just moved our clocks ahead an hour a week ago, but it doesn’t seem like that long ago when we set them back! Sometimes we even lose track of things because the time just flies by. Is that true of your smoke alarms? The folks here at GAMA Air want to make sure that your family is safe from the threat of home fires. So we want to dedicate this blog entry to Sparky the Fire Dog.

Have you met Sparky? He’s has been the “official mascot and spokesdog” for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) since 1951. The folks at NFPA are committed to eliminating fire deaths and injuries through effective public education programs and information. Check out the Safety Information section of their website, including videos with Sparky, here:

So, what have we all learned about fire safety that has to do with moving the clocks twice a year? Yep, when you change your clock, it’s time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Why is this so important?

Well, simply put smoke alarms save lives! If a fire starts in your home the smoke will spread fast and you need a smoke alarm to warn you and give you time to get out. According to the NFPA, about two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Scary, right? So, check those alarms regularly and change those batteries at least once a year!

But of course, you must have enough alarms installed. You should have one in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. You should also test the smoke alarms each month and replace them every 10 years. Yes, smoke alarms have an expiration date!

Monthly testing of smoke alarms cannot be overemphasized. The NFPA reports that ‘smoke alarm failures were usually the result of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. We mentioned the slogan earlier: “Smoke Alarms save lives”. But to put it more accurately: “Functioning Smoke Alarms save lives!”

You may have experienced the ‘nuisance’ of a false alarm due to cooking and were tempted to deactivate the alarm. Well, instead of deactivating the alarm, you should move it! All smoke alarms should be at least 10 feet from cooking appliances. If the alarm cannot be moved due to space constraints, consider replacing it with either a photoelectric detector or an alarm with a hush feature that can be temporarily silenced without disabling the alarm.

And what about that constant chirp? Remember that chirping is actually a low battery warning and you need to replace the battery ASAP so your fire alarm will be ready to save your life in the event of a fire. Conventional (not long-life) batteries should be used.

Have a question that’s been nagging you? Visit our Ask an Expert page, fill out the form, and we will get back to you quickly!

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