Change your clocks, change your batteries

Eugene - Getting educated on your smoke detector might not be on the top of your mind as we spring ahead to daylight savings Sunday, but it could be one of the more important changes you make this weekend.

Officials say more than four thousand people die in home fires every year. So as you reach for your clock, keep in mind that it's also a time of change for your trusty smoke detector.

"When you set your clocks change the batteries in your detector," says Marhsal Lampkins with Jerry's home improvement center. It's a very simple rule, with a piercing sound that could save a life.

"They have cut the fire death rate in family homes, single family dwellings by half," explains Fire Marshall Doug Perry. That's if you have a working battery or a newer alarm.

"Remember if it's been close to 10 years we'd like you to dispose of that smoke alarm and buy a new one," explains Perry. And there are lots of new ones on the market, like a voice activated one that says: "Tim, wake up, wake up Tim this is mom, there's a fire in the house."

"Instead of a regular beeping sound the parents voice will come over and what they have found is small kids especially have a tendency to respond quicker to a parents voice than just an alarm," says Lampkins.

A lot of the new smoke detectors out on the market now come with lithium ion batteries, that can last for a number of years, but it's still important to check that your old batteries working, by just a push of a button.

"It'll sound and make an alarm usually what you'll hear when they go bad is a chirping sound indicating the battery is low," explains Lampkins.

Batteries can last anywhere from one year on an old model to 10 years on the new ones. But despite the labels, Perry says smoke detector safety is ticking around the clock.

"You ought to be testing that smoke alarm on a weekly basis certainly on a monthly basis, a weekly basis is a good thing too," says Perry.

If you do buy a new alarm, officials say make sure you write down the date you purchased it, so that you'll know how old the device is the next time you need to replace it.

Experts also say it's important to check the manufacturers label before you install your new device.
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