Fire & Emergency Services: Change smoke alarm batteries this weekend

As our nation moves forward to daylight saving time Sunday, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services Department staff encourage residents to mark the occasion by checking their home smoke alarms and replacing batteries that are more than a year old.

Every day in the United States, needless home fire deaths occur. Working smoke alarms significantly increase the chance of surviving a deadly home fire, according to a press release from the department. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm will alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 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 smoke alarm batteries this weekend, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services staff recommend that residents:

• Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when changing the batteries;

• Test alarms once a month using the test button;

• Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested;

• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and both inside and outside of sleeping areas;

• For the best protection, use a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor alarms;

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

• Make sure everyone in the home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond;

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