Spring Reminders from Lambton Shores Fire and Emergency Services

There's a longstanding phrase that many of us will recognize: "change your clocks, change your batteries". The annual campaign encourages the public to change their smoke alarm batteries when turning back their clocks in the fall and ahead in the spring. With Daylight Savings on March 12, Lambton Shores Fire and Emergency Services want to share some important reminders.

Changing clocks, checking batteries

Working smoke alarms are a critical element of home fire safety, and any campaign or public education effort that reinforces the importance of working smoke alarms is a good thing. However, today's smoke alarms are not all the same and it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to do to keep your home fire safe. This is especially true with the increasing use of smoke alarms with 10 year non-replaceable batteries.

Tips if you have smoke alarms with replaceable batteries:

  • Smoke alarms with any type of replaceable battery should get new batteries at least once a year. This is why the popular campaign around daylight savings became popular: if you're changing your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries
  • However, if the alarm chirps to warn the battery is low, never wait: you need to replace the battery right away
  • When replacing the battery, follow the manufacturer's list of batteries on the back of the alarm or in the unit's manual. The manufacturer's instructions are specific to the batteries that must be used and may not work properly if not followed
  • Smoke alarms have expiry dates - make sure they are not expired!

Tips if you have smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries:

  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps to warn of a low battery, the entire unit needs to be replaced right away
  • Test the alarms frequently and always follow the manufacturer's instructions
Maintaining your alarm

Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so it's important to not only test your smoke alarm but to maintain it. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when you go to clean your alarm.

The first line of defence

Smoke alarms are the first line of defence in fire escape planning. Most fatal fires occur at night when people are sleeping. A working smoke alarm will detect smoke and alert you of danger.

Remember: only working smoke alarms save lives