This daylight saving time, change smoke detector battery with the clocks

Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — With daylight saving time taking effect at 2 a.m. Sunday, Columbia residents should take the same precautions with their smoke detectors as they do with their alarm clocks.

A news release from the Boone County Fire Protection District urged residents to participate in the “Change Your Clock, Change your Battery” campaign by replacing the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

An average of three children die each year in house fires, and 90 percent of those deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors, according to the release.

Newly constructed homes are required to have smoke detectors, said Lt. Martina Pounds of the Life Safety Bureau at the Boone County Fire Protection District.

“It’s in the new construction code that you have to have detection in every bedroom, each floor and hallway,” Pounds said. “They all have to be hard-wired, so that if one goes off, they all go off.”

Pounds said checking batteries on the first day of each month and replacing them every six months will ensure they don't expire. Detectors have labels on them with recommendations for how often to change batteries, Pounds said. 

“The main thing people don’t realize is detectors are not good forever,” Pounds said. “They need to be replaced and are only good for so long.”

The Fire Protection District encourages people to install carbon monoxide detectors, although homes are not required to have them.

“You really should have a carbon monoxide detector if you have a wood-burning fireplace or any other gas appliance,” Pounds said. 

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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