Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries - Daylight Savings Time Starts Sunday, March 10th
By Firefighter Mark Robertson Sr.
March 8, 2019

The upcoming beginning of Daylight Savings Time on March 10th is an opportune time to check and maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The checking and maintaining of these units takes just a few minutes. These few minutes can mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.

Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are an intricate part of home fire safety. These units work 24 hours a day to protect you and your family, but they will only work properly if maintained properly. They should be vacuumed every time you change your clocks at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time to help prevent false activations. The batteries should also be changed at least once a year. You should also note the date the unit was manufactured every time you maintain the units. If the units are 8-10 years old they should be replaced with new units.

Use this checklist to find out if you are taking the rights steps to protect your family:

1. Count Your Smoke Alarms

Be sure there is at least one smoke alarm less than ten years old installed on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.

2. Change Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and fire experts nationwide encourage people to change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries annually. An easy way to remember to do so is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks back to standard time November 6th.

3. Check Your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

After inserting a fresh battery in each smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, push the safety test button to make sure alarms are in proper-working condition. Conduct this test monthly. Never disconnect your smoke alarm battery! Remember that a "chirping" alarm is a signal it needs a fresh battery.

4. Clean Your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Ensure your smoke alarms' and carbon monoxide detectors' sensitivity by cleaning them each month of dust and cobwebs.

5. Replace Your Smoke Alarms

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and having a combination of both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to keep you alert to all types of home fires.

6. Change Your Flashlight Batteries

Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire.

7. Check and Change the Batteries in all of Your Connected Home Devices

Home devices connected to your smartphone or the Internet need to be checked too. Batteries power the majority of smart thermostats, motion sensors and HVAC controls used in homes today that keep you secure and comfortable.

8. Get the Whole Family Involved

Once smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and have fresh batteries, you should make sure family members, children in particular, know what the alarms and detectors sound like and what to do should they go off.

The Willingboro Fire Department provides free smoke detectors to the residents of Willingboro. We have a number of smoke detectors that we will install in your home for you. There are several ways that you can receive free smoke detectors:

1. Stop by or call Fire Headquarters at JFK and Charleston Road, (609) 871-7476 to schedule an appointment for us to install them for you.

2. Stop by our display at any township event to schedule an appointment for us to install them for you.

The department also has a limited supply of 9-Volt batteries available that we will install in your smoke detector.

Visit for more information.

Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries™ on March 10th