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Set a reminder to change smoke alarm batteries

Change clocks, change batteries

Post Date:03/01/2017 11:00 AM

The West Chester Fire Department urges everyone to Change Your Clock AND Change Your Batteries when Daylight Saving Time begins March 12.

  clock change left
Thanks to technology, many of today’s clocks (on cell phones, cable boxes, personal fitness trackers, etc.) will automatically adjust in spring and fall. Unfortunately, the battery in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will not automatically replace itself.


At the risk of forgetting to perform this simple but important chore, use technology to your advantage. Take out your smartphone now and schedule a new calendar item, set an alarm or create a reminder to change batteries when clocks turn forward an hour March 12. 

“You can virtually double your chances of survival were your home to catch fire just by installing smoke alarms outside bedrooms on all levels of your house and regularly making sure those alarms work properly,” said West Chester Fire Department Captain J. Scott Brooks.

According to a 2015 report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the death rate is more than twice as great in homes that don’t have working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes that do. In fires where smoke alarms were present but did not operate, 46 percent of alarms had missing or disconnected batteries; and dead batteries caused nearly one-quarter of smoke alarm failures.

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“Make a habit of testing smoke alarms monthly and replacing batteries biannually – at minimum – when clocks ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’ for daylight saving time,” Capt. Brooks said.

Additionally, smoke alarms expire every 10 years and should be replaced entirely. If the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm is 2007 or earlier, the device should be replaced.

For more information about smoke alarms, visit the State Fire Marshal’s website at

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