The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages you to check your smoke alarms when turning back your clocks, as daylight saving time for 2023 will end locally at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 5.
Working smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan, and they save lives by cutting the risk of death from a home fire in half, according to a news release.
In 2022, Washington State reported approximately 89% of fire fatalities occurred in areas where smoke alarms should have been installed. Of that number, 21% of the smoke alarms were found to be present and operational.
Follow these guidelines for all home smoke alarms:
• Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each bedroom, and on every level 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 alarm 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.
• Test all smoke alarms at least once a month to ensure it is working properly. Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound a smoke alarm makes and how to respond if it activates.
• Smoke alarms should be connected so 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.
For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.