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Fall Back: Change your clocks, change your batteries at the end of daylight saving time

The America Red Cross encourages residents to check the functionality of their smoke detectors this weekend.
William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

RALEIGH — As the end of daylight saving time approaches on Sunday, Nov. 6, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds North Carolinians: As we set our clocks back one hour, remember to change the battery in your smoke alarm.

“Smoke alarms are a key part of your home fire escape plan. In fact, working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a home fire in half,” said Commissioner Causey, who is also the State Fire Marshal. “When you turn back your clocks this weekend, take the time to protect your family by making sure all smoke alarms in your home are working properly.”

So far this year, 113 people in North Carolina have died because of fire. In many of those instances, a working smoke alarm was not present in the home.

When the smoke alarm sounds inside a home, families have about two minutes to get out of their homes before the smoke and fire become overwhelming. Smoke alarms must be fully powered and operational to give families those important life-saving minutes.

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According to the National Fire Protection Association, 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 State Fire Marshal at 1.800.634.7854.

For more fire safety information, visit our website: https://www.ncosfm.gov/injury-prevention/fire-prevention-education/smoke-alarms .

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