To do this weekend: Change the clock, check the battery
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[March 10, 2012]
CHICAGO -- As spring quickly
approaches, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal reminds
people to change their smoke alarm batteries when they set their
clocks forward this weekend.
"There isn't a better time to remind ourselves of the importance of
having working smoke alarms in our homes at all times," said State
Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. "Something as simple as testing a
smoke alarm's efficiency and replacing outdated batteries offers
some peace of mind for our families in the event of a fire."
year, the clock time officially moves forward from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
on Sunday, March 11. Before going to bed, residents should also
install new batteries in their smoke alarms. In addition, the fire
marshal's office suggests that Illinois residents should consider
changing other batteries, such as in flashlights, radios, carbon
monoxide detectors and other essential devices.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40 percent
of U.S. residential fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke
alarms. Twenty-three percent of fire fatalities have occurred in
residential occupancies that did not have a working smoke alarm; 80
percent of those numbers involved children.
The following information provides additional tips for smoke
alarm installation and maintenance:
According to the
Illinois Smoke Detector Act, smoke alarms should be within 15
feet of all sleeping areas, with at least one on each floor.
For residents who
have hard-wired smoke alarms, battery-operated smoke alarm
backups should be considered in case of a power outage.
hearing-impaired family members, consider installing an alarm
that combines flashing lights with sound.
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Mount smoke alarms
high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises).
Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches
away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be
installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts, where drafts might
interfere with their operation.
Never paint smoke
alarms. Paint, stickers or other decorations could interfere
with the alarm's ability to sound.
For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit
[Text from file from the
Office of the State Fire