Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday and serves as a good reminder to check your smoke alarm to make sure it works. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month, batteries should be replaced once a year, and the entire alarm should be replaced every 10 years.
There have been 41 fire deaths investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in 2019. In 70% of those cases, there was either no smoke alarm in the home or the smoke alarm was not working.
“At least 29 lives could have been saved this year if there had been a working smoke alarm in the home,” said State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney. “A working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half. Not having one, or many placed throughout the home, is simply unacceptable.”
If you need a smoke alarm, ask your local fire department. The Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) gave more than 23,000 smoke alarms to county fire departments this year to be distributed within those communities.
Additionally, the SFMO recommends the following smoke alarm safety tips:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.