With Daylight Saving Time ending this weekend, Clark County fire and building officials are reminding the public to change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

Clocks turn back one hour for the return of Standard Time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. Officials say the fall time change is good time of year to get into the potentially life-saving habit of changing batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries,” said Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell. “Smoke detectors have proven to reduce fire fatalities nationally by 50 percent.”

Officials say smoke detectors should be tested monthly. It’s generally recommended that alarm batteries be replaced at least twice a year to ensure a working system, or according to manufacturer instructions if batteries are long-life.  It’s also advised to replace old smoke alarms.

“Studies show that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are and that they need to be replaced every ten years,” said Clark County Building Official Sam Palmer, who oversees the county’s Building and Fire Prevention Department.

Low-battery signals from smoke detectors can cause alarms to sound, prompting residents to call 9-1-1 when a real fire emergency does not exist. Suggested tips for smoke alarms include:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, use both types.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling.
  • If an alarm “chirps,” the warning battery is low – replace the battery right away.
  • Smoke alarms with strobe lights and vibration devices are available for hearing impaired people.

Residents are encouraged to practice a home escape route with your family at least twice a year. Planning includes identifying all possible exists and escape routes in your home, drawing up a plan, and discussing it with all members of your household. A meeting place should be designated a safe distance outside your home where everyone can gather in the event of an emergency. Daylight Saving Time resumes on Sunday, March 12, 2017, with the setting of clocks one hour ahead.