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Posted on: March 10, 2017

On March 12, Change Your Clocks, Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

Clock and smoke alarm image
On Sunday, March 12, 2017, we “spring forward” and set our clocks ahead one hour to daylight saving time. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue reminds residents that they should take this opportunity to check batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.  Smoke alarms can alert you and your family to a fire twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. “It’s critical that these life-saving devices are checked and tested frequently to ensure they’re working properly”, said Fire Chief W. Keith Brower Jr.  “Early warning in the event of a fire can provide the lifesaving seconds you may need to escape.” 

Remember, smoke alarms must be maintained!  A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all.  Most smoke alarms use alkaline batteries which require regular replacement but now alarms are available that utilize a ten-year lithium battery, reducing the frequency with which batteries are replaced.  Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke alarms are in top shape:
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Clean away any dust or debris from the unit.
  • Replace batteries according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Completely replace alarm after ten years or sooner if it does not respond properly when tested.
In addition to regular testing and maintenance of your smoke alarms, develop and practice a home escape plan so that everyone in the home knows what to do if an alarm sounds.  Have two ways out and a meeting place outside. 

Our “Put a Finger on It” smoke alarm campaign offers free home safety inspections and smoke alarms to all Loudoun County residents.  If your smoke alarms are broken or outdated the department will replace them with battery-powered alarms at no cost and install additional alarms as necessary.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the department hotline at 703-737-8093 or visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms.

Just as critical to your family’s safety are properly installed and maintained carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can be fatal at relatively low levels. It’s recommended that a CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside each bedroom of the home. If the CO alarm sounds, evacuate immediately and call 911. If you suspect CO poisoning and feel dizzy, light-headed or have flu-like symptoms, call 911.

To learn more about fire safety, visit www.loudoun.gov/fire or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222 or by email.

For Additional Information
Contact: Laura Rinehart, Loudoun Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer, 571-233-1649 or by email.

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