Change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries

March 8, 2019

Change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries

Released: 9:30 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – On Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2 a.m., the clocks will “spring ahead” one hour marking the start of daylight savings time. The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is encouraging residents to take a moment to replace the batteries and test their smoke alarms when adjusting their clocks for this weekend’s time change.

According to recent statistics, people are four times more likely to die in a fire if their smoke alarms aren’t working. The only way to ensure an alarm is working is to test it. Smoke alarms powered by 10-year lithium ion batteries only require testing. Alarms with disposable batteries should have their batteries replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If the instructions are not available, replace the batteries twice per year when the time changes.

Residents whose homes do not have a working smoke alarm, can sign up for the S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarm for Every) Family Program, which provides and installs free alarms in owner occupied homes. Launched last month, the program began in the Lord Selkirk and West Kildonan communities. More information on the program can be found at City of Winnipeg – S.A.F.E. Family Program.

In addition to changing clocks and testing smoke alarms, the time change is also a good reminder for businesses and organizations to check their Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), as AED batteries and contact pads have a shelf life. AED’s require regular checks and maintenance, as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Help keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the home by following these simple steps:

  • A working smoke alarm will buy you valuable time – in case of fire, get out, stay out, and call 911
  • Make sure you have one smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside of all sleeping areas and in your basement
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years – the date of manufacture is written on the back of the smoke alarm
  • Smoke alarms with disposable batteries should have their batteries replaced twice per year when the time changes
  • You should test your smoke alarm monthly
  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire and practice your escape plan

For more information on smoke alarms and fire prevention, visit City of Winnipeg – Fire Safety.