Daylight-saving time reminder: Change your clocks, change your batteries

As the end of daylight-saving time approaches on Sunday, Nov. 7, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey reminds North Carolinians to practice this life-saving habit:  When you change your clock this weekend for the end of daylight-saving time, remember to change the battery in your smoke alarm.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when you have smoke alarms that are working properly,” said Commissioner Causey. “When you turn back your clocks, take the time to protect your family by making sure all smoke alarms in your home are working properly.”

So far this year, 109 people in North Carolina have died because of fire. In the majority of those instances, a working smoke alarm was not present in the home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, families have about two minutes to get out of their homes once their smoke alarm sounds due to fire. However, those life-saving minutes only occur when alarms are fully powered and operational.

The NFPA reports three out of every five home fire deaths across the nation resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

In addition to changing or checking your smoke alarm battery, Commissioner Causey is sharing these fire preparedness tips:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home outside sleeping areas.  If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. 
  • Prepare and practice an escape plan – know at least two ways to get out of a room, crawl low under smoke and plan where to meet outside.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by regularly vacuuming over and around it.  Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
  • Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors, or ducts that can interfere with their operation.
  • Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm.  If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.

For more information on how to check smoke alarm batteries or have an alarm installed, contact your local fire department or the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 1.800.634.7854.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.