‘Spring ahead’ and check your safety this weekend

Hoosiers will be turning the clock forward one hour Saturday night for the beginning of Daylight Saving Time.

The Indiana Fire Marshal is asking Indiana residents to take a moment to practice fire safety and change batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time.

Most smoke alarm batteries should be changed twice a year.

“The annual change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time is a good reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working and have new batteries,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal James Greeson.

“Since the beginning of the year, Indiana has suffered 20 fire fatalities, most in homes without functioning smoke detectors. Working smoke detectors save lives and give people the crucial extra seconds they need to have a fighting chance of evacuating from a house fire.”

Ideally, smoke alarms should be located outside of each sleeping area. There should also be at least one on every floor.

  • Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.
  • Purchase long-life smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries. Regular batteries should be changed at least once a year, preferably twice.
  • Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
  • Occasionally remove dust from the front of the smoke alarm.
  • Devise a family escape plan and practice it at least every six months. Plans should include at least two different ways each family member could escape various parts of the house. Designate a special place outside of the home where family members are to meet after escaping a fire.
  • For those renting a home or apartment, it is the landlord’s responsibility, and the law, to have at least one working smoke alarm in each unit at the time of move-in. While living in the unit, it is the resident’s responsibility to maintain the smoke alarm and notify the landlord of any issues.

Many fire stations and organizations offer free smoke alarms, especially to low-income families, seniors, at-risk families or families with members who, for various reasons, may need extra time to get out of a home.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m. when clocks should “spring forward” one hour.

For more on fire safety, visit www.GetPrepared.in.gov.