Daylight saving time will begin Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m. Indiana residents are encouraged to include changing their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clocks forward an hour.

“Hoosiers continue to be impacted by fire deaths, I want to remind Hoosiers that checking your smoke alarms once a month and changing your batteries twice a year can be the extra protection to help keep your families safe” said State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. 

Reasons to check smoke alarm batteries

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

The chance of surviving a household fire is doubled in homes with working smoke alarms.

Dead batteries cause one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures. 

Check the date

Remember to check the smoke alarm device date in addition to checking the batteries. Here are four simple steps to follow:

Remove the smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling.

Look at the back of the alarm for the date of the manufacture.

If the manufacture date is more than 10 years old, it is recommended that the smoke alarm be replaced. Over time, sensors lose the ability to detect smoke.

If the alarm is less than 10 years old, change the batteries and return the alarm to its location.

If the household has smoke alarms with lithium batteries, which typically last for 10 years, set a reminder to check the smoke alarm once a month. 

Check the smoke alarm placement

Smoke alarms should be placed inside and outside each bedroom or sleeping area; half of home fire deaths occur during sleeping hours and the early morning. Gases emitted during a fire can cause residents to sleep more deeply.

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, consider purchasing a smoke alarm with a strobe light or vibrating unit.

For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 

Check the manufacturer’s instructions for information about whether the smoke alarm should be placed high on the wall or on the ceiling.

Individuals that can’t afford smoke alarms should call local fire departments, as many fire departments have a smoke alarm assistance program.

All clocks should be set forward one hour on Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m.

For more information about smoke alarms and home fire safety visit GetPrepared.in.gov.