‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery’

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Firefighters know the importance of home fire safety. That’s why the Maplewood Fire Department encourages participation in the semi-annual home fire safety program “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery.”

Sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Energizer brand batteries, the program urges you to adopt a simple life-saving habit: Change all of your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm batteries when you change your clocks.

The Maplewood Fire Department encourages you to change smoke alarm and CO alarm batteries at least once each year, but recommend twice a year each time you change your clocks. An easy way to remember is to change these batteries when you change your clock. This year, the clocks are being set back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Replace old batteries with fresh, high-quality batteries to keep your smoke alarms and CO alarms ready to protect you all year. Some newer style smoke alarms contain a 10-year sealed lithium battery that does not require changing each year, but should be replaced after 10 years. It is recommended that CO alarms be replaced after five years.

After inserting fresh batteries in your smoke alarm and CO alarm, make sure the alarm is working by activating the safety test button. The Maplewood Fire Department recommends that you test all of your smoke alarms and CO alarms at least once each month. If you have any doubt regarding the working condition of a smoke alarm or CO alarm, the department recommends you replace it.

The Maplewood Fire Department highly recommends that you have a properly functioning smoke alarm in every sleeping room in addition to the hallway within 10 feet of those rooms. If sleeping rooms are on an upper level, a smoke alarm should also be installed in the center of the ceiling directly above the interior stairway.

It’s best to have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement and family room. In addition, a CO alarm is required to be installed within 10 feet of all sleeping rooms. To assure optimal protection and avoid false alarms, your smoke alarm and CO alarm must be mounted properly. You’ll find simple instructions included with every smoke alarm and CO alarm you purchase. Should questions remain, the department encourages you to visit or contact its personnel for help.

Help your smoke alarm and CO alarm remain sensitive and ready to protect you by gently using a vacuum cleaner once a month to remove dust and cobwebs. If your smoke alarms and CO alarms have been accidentally painted or contaminated, replacement may be necessary.

Smoke alarms and CO alarms work every minute of every day. After millions of sensing cycles, they should be retired. Replace your smoke alarms with new devices every 10 years and CO alarms after five years.