A big change in time happens this Sunday, November 6 when we mark the end of daylight savings time meaning we fall back an hour. While you're changing clocks before you go to bed on Saturday night the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office wants you to check your smoke alarms that could save your life in a fire.

Many fires happen in the fall and winter months

Yakima Firefighters get busy every fall and winter with many home and apartment fires many caused by space heaters and other electrical problems. Firefighters say working smoke alarms should be a key part of your fire escape plan because they save lives by "cutting the risk of dying in a home fire by half."

You need the alarms on every level and where people are sleeping

A press release from the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office says last year about 85% of fire fatalities happened in areas where smoke alarms "should have been installed."
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office has some advice about the alarms;

·         Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, in hallways outside bedrooms, and on every floor of the home, including basements. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.

·         Install smoke alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers for those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf.

·         Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years from the manufacture date. If the alarms chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. Also, replace the smoke alarm if the manufacture date is more than 10 years old.

Just check those alarms when you change those clocks

·         Press the test button to ensure your smoke alarm is working properly. Also make sure everyone in the home knows the sound a smoke alarm makes and how to respond if it goes off.

·         It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.

·         Rental housing must also have working smoke alarms. Contact your landlord or property manager if your rental home does not have smoke alarms installed. Maintenance and testing of smoke alarms is the responsibility of the tenant.

·         Contact your local fire agency for additional assistance.  Many local fire agencies have smoke alarm programs that may provide free devices and installation.

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