State Fire Marshal: “Know Your Alarm, Know Your Battery”

As the time change approaches on Sunday, March 12, State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy reminds residents that properly installed and maintained smoke alarms save lives – know your alarm, know your battery!

When you change your clocks, also take a few minutes to test and inspect your smoke alarms. “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,” says State Fire Marshal Duffy.  

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, twenty-seven 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.

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.