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Test Your Smoke Alarms This Weekend

March 8, 2016

Daylight saving time begins this weekend. When the time changes each spring and fall, change batteries in your smoke alarms and test them, suggests Sherry F. Nelson, human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Smoke alarms provide vital, inexpensive protection for your family, Nelson says.

Each year nearly 4,000 Americans die in fires and approximately 16,000 are injured. At least 80 percent of fires in the United States occur in the home, Nelson says. The National Fire Protection Association says that roughly three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or alarms that are not working.

Nelson offers the following tips:

  • Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom of your home.
  • Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Large homes need more smoke alarms.
  • Install smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall.
  • Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Change batteries twice a year, in the spring and fall, when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
  • Replace smoke alarms 10 years from the date of manufacture.

Special alarms are available for those who are hard of hearing. Safety improves when smoke alarms are connected so that when one sounds, all sound.

“Take some time this weekend to create and practice an escape plan as well,” Nelson says.

For more fire safety tips, go to

Source: University of Missouri