Daylight Saving Time: Remember to Change Clocks, Smoke Detector Batteries Nov. 4

The Arlington Fire Department is once again reminding residents to change batteries in smoke detectors when rolling clocks back one hour this weekend.

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, which fire officials say is a good cue to switch out smoke detector batteries.

Smoke detectors save lives, but they require routine maintenance to ensure proper operation. The Arlington Fire Department reminds you to test your smoke alarm every month. At least once a year, you need to change the battery. The service life of most smoke alarms is 10 years. The manufacture date is found on the back of the alarm. When your smoke alarm is 10 years old, or it fails its monthly test, it needs to be replaced.

Here are some facts and figures about smoke alarms from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53 percent) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38 percent) or no working smoke alarms (21 percent).
  • No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38 percent) home fire deaths.
  • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46 percent) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24 percent) of the smoke alarm failures.

SOURCE:  NFPA’s “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires” report, September 2015

Free smoke alarms, installation and replacement batteries are available for elderly and low-income residents within the City of Arlington. Call the Arlington Fire Department at 817-459-5500 for more information.