Fire Department says change smoke alarm batteries

With the beginning of daylight saving time on Sunday, the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department says it’s time to test your home’s smoke alarm and replace the battery if it is more than a year old.

“Working smoke alarms significantly increase your chance of surviving a deadly house fire,” according to a press release from the department.

“A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” according to the press release. “Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.”

In addition to changing the batteries this weekend, the department also recommended following some simple steps to protect yourself, your family and your home.

• Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when changing the batteries.

• Test alarms once a month using the test button.

• Replace the entire system if it is more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested.

• Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement and both inside and outside sleeping areas.

• For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor alarms.

• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout your home so that if one sounds, they all sound. Interconnected alarms are available at most stores that sell alarms.

• Make sure everyone in your home understands the warning of the smoke alarms and knows how to respond.

• Prepare and practice an escape plan so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely should there be a fire. Plan to meet in a place a safe distance from the fire where first responders can easily see you.