Daylight Savings Time ends Saturday night which means we will all be “falling back” and, hopefully, changing the batteries in our smoke detectors, as well.  Acting State Fire Marshal Greg Carrell said, while changing the batteries at least once a year is vital, there are also other recommendations to help keep your family safe.  “Periodically, throughout the year, at least once a month, give them a little test,” said Carrell, “It’s important to make certain the device is functioning and you’re able to hear it sound.”

While you have the devices open, it’s also a good time to check their age.  “In recent years, they’ve done studies and discovered  that 10 years is about the most you can hope to get good, reliable service out of a smoke detector,” said Carrell, “What you can do is take the smoke detector down and find the date on the back of it which will tell you how old it is.  You might be surprised if you’re thinking your home isn’t quite that old.  Some of those smoke detectors may have been manufactured a year or so before they were installed.  So, you’ll want to look at the manufacture date.”

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 71% of smoke alarms that fail to operate properly in a fire have missing, disconnected, or dead batteries and approximately three-quarters of child fire fatalities under the age of 15 occur in homes without working smoke alarms.