On Sunday: Change your clocks, change your batteries

Posted March 11, 2017

Local agency, Vallejo fire department has urged residents in the area to do their part and not only to change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time but the batteries in their smoke alarms. Volunteers were dispatched along with members of the Urbana Fire Department to the Rolling Hills and Harvest Square mobile home parks to install smoke detectors and teach residents about fire safety.

At 2 a.m. on Sunday (March 12), Daylight Saving Time begins.

If you don't know exactly how old your smoke alarms are, you should replace them just to be safe. Meanwhile, roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.

Local firefighters recommend installing dual goal photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms in each bedroom and on each floor of the home. The Red Cross also provides canteen services to fire departments while they fight fires. Merriman says if the alarm doesn't sound, the batteries should be replaced.

- Test alarms once a month using the test button.

- If an alarm "chirps", warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one.

That includes hard-wired smoke alarms as well as ones that are exclusively battery-powered, according to an Angie's List article that cites the National Fire Protection Association.

If you need additional assistance or can not afford alarms, contact your local fire department, the American Red Cross, or call Vermont 2-1-1 to find out about smoke alarm installation programs in your community. MFRD even has smoke alarms for the hearing or visually impaired.

- Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn't respond properly when tested. The program launched in November 2012 and is a grant-funded smoke alarm distribution program. If you have no detectors in your home, this would be a great time to install them.

Two people who were home at the time were able to escape unharmed.