Don’t forget to change batteries in smoke alarms!

AC Brian Schaeffer #509-625-7002

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 2:21 p.m.

With the upcoming time change, the Spokane Fire Department says it’s a good easy reminder when changing clocks to replace the batteries in smoke alarms.

In a fire, working smoke alarms in a home can mean the difference between life and death. “Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained provide an early warning signal which could allow everyone in the home to safely escape,” advised City of Spokane Fire Marshal Miller. While current code requires a smoke alarm in every sleeping area, Miller points out that the minimum protection required for homes is one smoke alarm outside in the proximity of each sleeping room, one inside each sleeping room and at least one on each level of the home including the basement.

Residents should use batteries recommended by the manufacturer and make sure they are firmly connected to the smoke alarm contacts. Remember if a smoke alarm starts making “chirping” noise, it’s a signal battery levels are low and need to be replaced. Dusting smoke detector surfaces and vacuuming the air vents regularly will keep dust and spider webs from fouling detection elements or causing false alarms. All smoke alarms, including those with 10 year lithium batteries, should be tested monthly. Smoke alarms that use ordinary batteries should have new batteries installed at least once a year.

Miller would like to remind Spokane residents that the Spokane Fire Department has a limited amount of free residential smoke alarms, including ADA hearing impaired smoke alarms for qualified applicants. Members of the Spokane Fire Department will install these detectors free of charge.

The Spokane Fire Department is dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection education. For information and how to apply for a free smoke alarm, contact the Spokane Fire Prevention Bureau at 509.625.7058. A variety of community education resources are also available to help meet the needs of both children and adults. Fire safety presentations can be arranged for neighborhood, business, civic, or education groups.