Don't forget to change your clocks and your batteries in your smoke alarms. (photo used under Creative Commons/Katy Warner)
By Zach Dietmeier
NORMAL - When you change your clocks back an hour this weekend, the Normal Fire Department reminds you to change your batteries in your smoke detectors.
Public Information Officer Matt Swaney knows detectors often go unchecked.
"It's the first line of defense in protecting any members of your family from dying in a house fire," said Swaney. "Smoke detectors allow us to wake up and give us the first warning that there is a problem."
Daylight savings ends Sunday at 2am, and said it just make sense to check your batteries when you check your clocks.
"I think it just kind of became a tradition because you are already going to be going around your house changing all of your clocks anyway," said Swaney. "You might as well take the extra minute or two to check your smoke detectors as well."
Swaney says 65 percent of home fire deaths occur in homes without a working fire alarm. He points out that lifetime batteries and hard-wired systems aren't exempt from an occasional test.
"As you know, electronics can go bad," said Swaney. "It's always a good idea to just push the test button to make sure its functioning as the alarm is supposed to. You don't want to find out the hard way that your smoke alarm is not working."
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.