Change your clocks and check your detectors

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Fire Chief, 509.625.7002

Friday, March 11, 2016 at 3:02 p.m.

When you move your clocks ahead one hour to begin Daylight Savings Time this Sunday, March 13, please remember to also check the condition of your smoke detectors. Two out of three home fire deaths happen in households without working smoke detectors!

This weekend:

  • Look at the label on the back of your smoke detectors to find the exact date of manufacture and then determine whether they are less than 10 years old. All smoke detectors, whether hard-wired into the electricity or screwed into the ceiling, must be replaced every 10 years.
  • 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, photoelectric detectors can sound an alarm up to 40 minutes faster than ionization models.
  • 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.
  • 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 625.7000 or visit your neighborhood fire station.