Daylight saving time also officially starts this weekend on Sunday, March 14 , at 2 a.m. While your phones and computers will automatically “spring forward” one hour earlier, you’ll still have to check your ovens, microwaves, and most importantly, your smoke detectors — at least according to safety experts.
It’s also “National Check Your Batteries Day”! National Check Your Batteries Day serves as a reminder to check and replace (if needed) the batteries which are essential at the emergency time. On this day, check devices like flashlights, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, portable radios, HVAC thermostat and much more.
You might also consider buying some of the items which don’t need batteries like the hand-cranked flashlight, hand-cranked emergency radio and much more.
The two times a year we change our clocks also serve as a valuable reminder to change the batteries in our fire alarms. Only 57% of Americans have followed best practice and done so in the past six months, according to a survey of more 1,000 people conducted by ServiceMaster Restore.
When you go around your house on Sunday, you’ll want to replace the batteries in each detector! Doing it now will also prevent the purposefully annoying “chirping” reminder later on. Most Smoke Detectors use a 9-volt battery and you’ll want to replace with a brand-new one! Make sure you press the test button to make sure it’s working. You should hear a beep or chirp sound. Also keep an eye out for the date of manufacture stamped on the device. Smoke detectors lose their efficacy after 10 years and require replacing just like carbon monoxide alarms.
Monitoring your house’s safety measures is now more important than ever. The average time to escape a home fire has gone from 17 minutes to just three minutes or less in the past few decades due to the increased use of synthetics in furniture and home construction, according to safety organization UL.