Time to spring forward — and inspect your smoke alarm

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    It’s time to move your clock an hour ahead as daylight savings time arrives on Sunday, March 12. And according to State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy, it’s also a perfect time to check your smoke alarm.

    When you change your clocks, also take a few minutes to test and inspect your smoke alarms, the Fire Marshal’s Office advised. “Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries so maintaining your alarms is a simple, effective way to protect you and your family,” Duffy said.

    When changing your smoke alarm’s batteries, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. No matter what kind of battery your smoke alarms have—9-volt, long lasting, or non-replaceable—they all must be tested monthly to ensure they are working properly. Replace any alarms that fail testing, and replace all smoke alarms that are 10 years old or older.

    In 2016, a total of 27 percent of fire deaths in Washington State occurred in homes where no smoke alarms were present, or the alarms were not working. Making sure that the smoke alarms in your home are operational is a critical component when building your fire escape plan, the Fire Marshal’s Office said.

    Warnings from smoke alarms can provide those critical extra seconds people need to get out of their homes safely. Plan, discuss and practice escape routes with your household members. Being prepared and knowing what to do, in the event of a fire, save lives.

    For more information about fire safety, visit the State Fire Marshal website at www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/firemars.htm.

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