2018-03-07 / Front Page

Fire department reminds residents to change smoke detector batteries along with clocks


Local fire officials are reminding folks that “springing forward” this weekend is not just about changing clocks.

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 11, at 2 a.m., and Robert Parrish, Waynesboro’s Assistant Fire Chief, says it’s the perfect time for residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

Using this annual event as a schedule of sorts helps people develop a routine that could ultimately save their lives, Parrish says, adding that while many clocks and cell phones are programmed to adjust to time change, batteries aren’t going to replace themselves. “Change the batteries in your smoke alarms. They can’t save you if they don’t work,” he cautions, adding that residents should also test them once a month and replace detectors once they are 10 years old.

“Reliable smoke detectors are relatively inexpensive,” Parrish says, “and for the protection they offer, it’s an investment worth making.” They are available in most stores where home supplies are sold and can be purchased for as little as $10.

In addition to the upkeep of smoke alarms, Parrish says residents should also use this time to ensure there are fresh batteries in flashlights and weather radios. “It’s also a good time to develop an emergency plan for severe weather and to inspect tires, safety belts and fluids on vehicles in preparation for spring and summer trips,” he adds. “Just taking a few extra minutes to do these things helps to make sure that the coming months will be safe for you and your loved ones.”

According to Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, approximately 94 residential fires occurred in 2017, resulting in 112 deaths. Of those fires, 89 of them happened in houses that did not have working smoke detectors. This year, 21 fires across the state have resulted in the deaths of 25 Georgians and none of the homes had working smoke alarms.

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