On Sunday, November 1 we all need to turn our clocks back 1 hour. We know the last thing we all need is an extra hour of 2020 but consider using the extra hour to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and CO2 monitors. Also, you should check to see how old your detectors are.  

Top-rated security system experts say that, over time, dust gathers inside smoke detectors, desensitizing the sensors. And even if a smoke detector hasn’t reached the 10-year mark, replace it if it chirps after you’ve replaced the battery or if the alarm doesn’t sound when you perform the recommended monthly testing of your fire alarm system. Experts recommend replacing all connected smoke alarms at the same time, even if some are working.

Smoke detectors are an essential part of a fire-prevention strategy, so you should replace yours as soon as possible. In a 2014 report, the NFPA said three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or with none that worked.

Important fire safety tips

Meanwhile, here are fire safety tips from the NFPA:

• Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement. (Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.)

 • Interconnected smoke alarms – whether hardwired or wireless — are best because when one is activated, they all sound.

 • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Simply press the test button to be sure the alarm works.

 • Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn of flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn of smoldering fires. It’s best to use some of both types.

 • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Install wall-mounted alarms should no more than 12 inches from the ceiling to the top of the alarm.

 • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation. To reduce false alarms, keep alarms at least 10 feet from a stove.

 • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to respond if they hear a smoke alarm.

 • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.