Daylight savings reminder

Every six months, you hear from your firefighters, “When you change your clock for Daylight Saving Time, check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.”

It is more than a slogan – and firefighters often see smoke alarms save lives. Working smoke detectors alert you more quickly in the event of a fire and provide you and your loved ones more time to escape safely.

Statistics back it up, too. Nearly two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarm — a number that can easily be reduced with a few simple moments of fire safety precaution and preparation twice a year.

While checking your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is essential, many smoke alarms are hard-wired to your home's electricity, or they have long-life-span batteries – making the need to change the battery obsolete. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do come to Daylight Saving Time.

The first step is to make sure you have the most up-to-date alarms. Firefighters recommend replacing any smoke alarm that is older than ten years old.

It is also essential to have the correct type of smoke alarm. Photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective at warning of smoke from smoldering fires, while ionization smoke alarms are quicker to inform about free-burning fires. With that in mind, your firefighters recommend installing a combination photoelectric/ionization smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom, and on each floor of your home.

Knowing what to do in an emergency can mean the difference between life and death, so once your smoke alarms are installed and in good working order, practice evacuating your home.

Make sure your family knows two ways out of the house, including from bedrooms. Draw a map to show both exit paths. Push the button on the alarm and let it make its loud warning so that all family members know the sound, then practice exiting the home as if it is an actual emergency.

Having a predetermined meeting place once you leave the home will help firefighters quickly know if everyone is out of the house and, if not, where they need to search first. And most importantly, remind your family members that they should stay out once they are out of the house!

So, when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time, Castle Rock Professional Firefighters encourage you not only to take a few moments to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms but also to take the extra time to practice fire safety in your home.