Change clocks and smoke detector batteries

Democrat photo / David A. Wilson
California Fire Chief Allen Smith demonstrates changing a battery in a smoke detector. It is recommended that the batteries be changed each time the clocks are changed for Daylight Saving Time.

Democrat photo / David A. Wilson California Fire Chief Allen Smith demonstrates changing a battery in a smoke detector. It is recommended that the batteries be changed each time the clocks are changed for Daylight Saving Time. Photo by David Wilson.

— Don't forget to change the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when the clocks are changed for Daylight Saving Time on Sunday.

That is the recommendation of California Fire Chief Allen Smith who said it is easier to remember to change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors if they are changed at the same time as the clocks are changed.

Some may need assistance to change the batteries. If they do, Smith said someone from the department could help. Even if the smoke detector is hardwired, meaning it is wired into the electric system of the structure, it should be checked. Smith said the hardwired smoke detectors have a battery backup in case the power goes out and it needs to be changed.

Most buildings have smoke detectors, but Smith said fire fighters often find the detectors with dead batteries or no batteries. When battery power is low, a smoke detector often makes an ear-piercing shriek. Instead of replacing the battery, the occupant might remove the battery to get rid of the noise.

If there is no battery handy at the time and the detector is quiet, it is easy to forget to replace the battery. Then, when the detector is needed, it is no longer functional.

By a California City ordinance effective in December of 2000, all residential rental units are required to have smoke detectors provided by the owner. The responsibility of keeping the batteries fresh is up to the resident.

A service offered by the fire department is use of a carbon monoxide monitor if a resident has concerns, suspects the presence of carbon monoxide or is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning.

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