Change Your Clocks...Change Your Batteries
By Past Fire Chief Christopher Taylor
March 9, 2019

Sunday, March 10 begins Daylight Saving Time. It will be time to “spring forward” one hour.

You know what that means: change your clocks, and change your batteries!

While phones, computers, and tablets may change themselves, it’s up to you to keep yourself and your family safe by changing your smoke alarm batteries. Working smoke alarms save lives. That tell-tale beeping can get everyone out safely and avoid tragedy.

Three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. No smoke alarms were present in two out of every five (40%) home fire deaths. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

An alarm should be installed on every floor of your home, in every bedroom, and outside of all sleeping areas. Here are some tips to installing smoke alarms:

• Best place to mount your smoke alarm is on the ceiling

• Keep smoke alarms at least 4-6 inches away from the nearest wall

• Always test your newly installed smoke alarm

• If you cannot mount the alarm on the ceiling, install it high on the wall 4-12 inches from the ceiling

However, just installing a smoke alarm is NOT enough. It needs to be tested monthly and the batteries changed every year. Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. For those who have the newer alarms with the 10-year battery, please test your smoke alarms this weekend.

As well as working smoke alarms, every household should have an evacuation plan. Practice it! Make sure everyone knows how to get out and where to meet. Never go back inside a burning building! If someone is missing, inform the dispatcher when you call 911.

Fire is Everyone’s Fight. If you have questions about fire safety, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or want to know more about becoming a volunteer please contact or stop by the Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department.

Hyperlinks: Learn More About Smoke Alarms