Change the Clock, Change the Batteries

Changing the clock at the end of Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, November 5, is an ideal time for Hoosiers to change the batteries in smoke alarms.

“When Hoosiers change their clocks back an hour, I recommend that they change their smoke alarm batteries too,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Working smoke alarms are proven life savers, providing the valuable time needed to escape a fire.”

Working smoke alarms were credited with helping a family get out of their burning home safely in a recent, near total loss residence fire in Fishers. The fire began around 3 a.m. making the smoke alarms crucial to the escape of the sleeping family.

Greeson is advising all Indiana residents to have at least one working smoke alarm in their residence. Ideally, smoke alarms should be located outside of each sleeping area. There should also be at least one smoke alarm on every floor. Smoke alarms are relatively inexpensive and many fire stations and related organizations maintain programs that offer free smoke alarms, especially to low-income families and individuals, senior citizens and those who need extra time to evacuate a home in danger.

Here are more smoke alarm tips to consider:

  • Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.
  • Consider smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries for longer life. These types of alarms may not require a battery change for the life of the unit.
  • Regular batteries should be changed at least once a year, preferably twice.
  • Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old, as sensors begin to lose efficacy.
  • Remove any dust from the front of the smoke alarm.
  • Craft a family escape plan and practice it at least every six months. Plans should include at least two different ways each family member could escape various parts of the home. Designate a special place outside of the home where family members are to meet after escaping a fire.

Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, when clocks “fall back” one hour.

For more on preparedness and fire safety, visit, follow Indiana Department of Homeland Security on Facebook at, or @IDHS on Twitter.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Homeland Security

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