LAFD: Change Your Clocks, Check Your Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarms This Weekend


It is that time again. Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2:00 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clock backward one hour before you go to bed Saturday night. Remember to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for a few extra minutes. Smoke alarms are a vital part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.  

Smoke Alarms Safety Tips 

Smoke alarms, like other household appliances, don’t last forever. Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms usually need to be replaced after ten (10) years. Here are some essential facts to remember about your smoke alarms.  

  • Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke or working smoke alarms.  
  • In a fire, smoke spreads farther and faster than fire. More people die from breathing smoke than from burns.  
  • When people are asleep, deadly smoke fumes can cause them to sink into unconsciousness and then die long before flames ever reach them.  
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.  
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.  
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. 
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology, including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined. 
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least ten (10) feet or three (3) meters from the stove. 
  • Time Is Your Enemy in a Fire 
  • Time is your enemy in a fire. Working smoke alarms give you precious time to use your home escape plan before poisonous gases and heat escape is impossible. No one expects to be a victim of fire, but the best way to survive is to have working smoke alarms. In the average house fire, there are only 1-3 minutes to escape AFTER the smoke alarm sounds. If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Respond quickly- get up and go!  
  • A trick to remember when it’s time to change your smoke alarm batteries is to change them when you change your clocks (fall backward, spring forward) to make it a habit. For hard-wired smoke alarms, replace the backup battery at least once a year. A smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years. Take a few minutes to protect those you love this weekend when you “fall backward” by testing and changing the batteries in your smoke alarms.