Fire officials: change your clock, change batteries in smoke and - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Fire officials: change your clock, change batteries in smoke and CO detectors

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We turn our clocks back Sunday morning, ending Daylight Saving Time.

However, there is another important thing you need to do to keep your family safe: check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house.

Fire departments are spreading the message to "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery".

It's a saying state and local fire departments want to preach to their communities.

The state fire marshal's office issued a reminder this week about checking or changing batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, saying how smoke alarms will give you precious time in a fire to escape, and carbon monoxide detectors can prevent poisonous gases from making an escape impossible.

"Twice a year, we try to get the message out to replace those batteries, test them, the smoke alarms," said Holyoke Fire Capt. Anthony Cerruti.

Cerruti said that it's important to check them as the days get cooler.

"We're getting to the time of the year where people are using the heat more, space heaters, candles, the potential is always there," Cerruti noted.

Most smoke alarms last about ten years and older carbon monoxide alarms last about five to seven years, but how do you know when its time to change them? 

This is an issue Cerruti said will be solved going forward in new home sales come December.

"New home sales are going to be required to have ten year, sealed smoke alarms, which means people cannot remove the batteries," Cerruti explained.

The goal is to simply keep them on the ceiling untouched.  After ten years, it will be time to replace the detector, instead of worrying about the batteries.  The units will also have a convenient new feature.

"They are going to be equipped with a hush feature, so if you do burn food, or burn toast, you just push a button and it hushes the smoke alarm for a predetermined amount of time," Cerruti added.

Residents said that it's a no brainer and that it's always better to be safe than sorry.

"It's very important to make sure those things are updated, so even the children themselves will know to get out the house, or even if it's beeping to change the batteries," said Mary Rivera of Holyoke.

Rivera said that her smoke detectors could be the difference between life and death for her family.

"Especially with the little ones, you need to make sure you get out in time," Rivera noted.

So as you go to change your clock this weekend, you may want to take an extra five minutes and check those detector batteries as well.  It could give you just enough time to escape in an emergency.

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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