Change Smoke Detector Batteries When Changing Clocks This Weekend, Says State Fire Commissioner

Mar 06, 2009, 15:20 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Fire Commissioner Edward A. Mann today reminded Pennsylvanians to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and to test the units when they turn their clocks forward one hour this weekend.

"We recommend changing the batteries in smoke detectors twice a year, and it's easy to remember to do it when you change your clocks in the fall and spring," Mann said. "Smoke detectors are one of the best and cheapest ways to prevent deaths from fires."

When turning clocks back, homeowners should replace the batteries in each smoke alarm and test the alarm to ensure that it is working properly. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, especially in sleeping areas.

Mann suggested replacing a smoke alarm if it is more than 10 years old, even if it seems to work properly. The useful life of a smoke detector is usually 10 years.

After making sure smoke alarms function properly, Mann recommends creating and practicing a home fire escape plan. Each member of the household must be able to identify more than one way to get out of the home and a meeting place away from the home, such as a neighbor's porch or a telephone pole across the street, so that each person can be accounted for in an emergency.

"Fire escape plans need to be reviewed and updated several times a year, and this weekend is a good time to do that," Commissioner Mann said. "Something as simple as an addition on a home, a new baby, or having a family member who needs assistance will impact how people exit their house in an emergency."

More information about fire prevention and safety is available online at For more information about the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the fire service in Pennsylvania, visit

    CONTACT:  Ruth A. Myers
              (717) 651-2009

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner