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Fire officials urge residents to change batteries in detectors

When it’s time to change the time on the clock, it’s time to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, according to West Point Fire Chief Mitt Smith.

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday morning, so before hitting the pillow for the night on Saturday, clocks will need to be set back one hour to have accurate time.

Fire officials in the Greater Valley Area say it’s also a good weekend to perform a few tasks that will help keep everyone safe in the home.     

“We do recommend that when you change your clocks, you really need to change the battery in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors,” Lanett Fire Chief Johnny Allen said. “Make sure you dust them off, and that they’re in working order. They save lives. No doubt in my mind about it.” 

Smith said if a resident has a gas appliance or a wood-burning stove, they should have a carbon monoxide detector.

He said if that detector is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced.

“Most detectors are only rated for ten years. If it’s less than ten years old, put a new battery in it, and clean it,” Smith said. “You can use a vacuum cleaner to get dust out of it.”

Regular upkeep is essential, too. 

“Test it once a month,” Smith said. “Make sure everyone in the house is familiar with the sound your detector makes.”

Smith also advises having a fire plan and practicing it. 

“Know your exit plan and know your meeting plan once you exit the structure,” he said. 

If anyone needs help with checking or changing a detector battery, Allen said the fire department will help.

“We’re happy to assist them if they need it,” Allen said.  “And we have some smoke detectors available if you need some extra ones.  We’re more than happy to provide one if we have one, for anyone in the city limits.” 

Smith shared similar thoughts. 

“We don’t want to see someone on a ladder who shouldn’t be on a ladder.  We don’t want to create a medical problem,” he said. “We will help people who need it with planning an exit, changing batteries or putting in a smoke detector.”