Change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries

Change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries

Released: 11:48 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – On Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 a.m., the clocks will “fall back” one hour marking the end of daylight-saving time. The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) reminds residents to replace their smoke alarm’s batteries and test their smoke alarms when they adjust their clocks this weekend. The old batteries should be recycled at one of the City’s 4R Winnipeg Depots.

Sunday also marks the start of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. With colder weather upon us, WFPS also reminds residents of the need to protect themselves from the dangers of carbon monoxide. If residents don’t already have carbon monoxide alarms in their homes, they are encouraged to install a one on every floor. The time change also serves as a good time to test the batteries in these devices.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas produced by the combustion process. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are flu-like and include nausea, dizziness, confusion, vision, and hearing loss, but no fever. If a resident suspects carbon monoxide in their home, they should exit immediately and call 911.

For those purchasing smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms, they should consider purchasing a device that does both.

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

Residents are encouraged to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in their homes 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.
  • If your carbon monoxide alarm activates do not attempt to find the source of the leak. Exit the building immediately and call 911.
  • Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas and in your basement.
  • Replace alarms in accordance with manufacturers directions. The date of manufacture is written on the back of the smoke alarm.
  • If your smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarm uses disposable batteries, change them twice per year when the time changes.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month.
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire, and practice your escape plan.
  • Have fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, and gas dryers cleaned and checked annually by a qualified service technician.
  • Never idle vehicles in an attached garage, even if the door is open.
  • Ensure all fresh air intake vents, exhaust vents and chimneys are clear of snow, insulation, leaves, bird nests, lint, or debris.
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed and vented.
  • Don’t operate gasoline-powered engines, charcoal or propane barbecues or grills, kerosene stoves or propane heaters indoors or in enclosed spaces

For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide safety and fire prevention, visit

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