Change clock and change battery

Jan Doherty, Public Education Officer, 509.625.7058

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

When you move your clocks ahead one hour to begin Daylight Savings Time this Sunday, March 9, please remember to also check on the condition of your smoke detectors. Two out of three home fire deaths happen in households without working smoke detectors.

This weekend, please:

  • Look at the label on the back of your smoke detectors to determine how old they are. The label should have the exact date of manufacture. If it doesn't show the date, the detector is likely more than 10 years old. Smoke detectors should be replaced at least every 10 years. This applies to hard-wired smoke detectors as well as the ones you screw into the ceiling or wall.
  • Also locate the word ionization or photoelectric on the back labels. Make sure you have at least one photoelectric detector on each level of your home. In a smoldering fire, such as the type that can be caused by electrical problems or smoking materials, the photoelectric detector can sound an alarm up to 40 minutes faster than an ionization detector.
  • Push the test button on your detectors to determine whether the units are correctly connected to power.
  • Replace alkaline 9-volt batteries on your smoke detectors. Alkaline 9-volt batteries should last 1 year.
  • Know whether you have alkaline or lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can last up to 10 years. Once they are finished, the detector itself needs replacement. Many detectors on the market now use different types of batteries: 9-volt, AA, etc.
  • If you have problems with “nuisance alarms” when you cook or when someone takes a shower, replace ionization detectors within 20 feet of the kitchen or bathroom with photoelectric units. Photoelectric detectors seldom give a nuisance alarm.
  • Help your neighbors check the condition of their detectors if they are not able to safely reach them to replace batteries or detectors.
  • If you have questions on smoke detectors, please call Spokane Fire Department at 625.7058 or contact Jan Doherty at