Semi-annual event is a reminder to keep smoke detectors working properly

FREEHOLD, NJ  – As you set your clocks forward one hour this past weekend, did you also test the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home or office? 

“Twice a year, residents should test their smoke alarms and CO detectors,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “The spring and fall time changes are perfect reminders to test this equipment and, if your detectors are battery operated, you should change the batteries as well.”

Monmouth County Fire Marshall Hank Stryker changes the batteries in a smoke detector and reminds residents to do the same in their homes and work places. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 3,000 people die in home fires each year, and the majority of them have no working smoke alarm.

A working smoke alarm can help you and your family escape a deadly home fire. It can also help save the lives of firefighters who would otherwise have to risk their lives by searching a burning home for residents. A working smoke alarm continuously scans the air for smoke, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It never sleeps.

“Residents with hard-wired systems should be testing their detector systems monthly and change the batteries annually. The spring time change is a perfect annual reminder,” county Fire Marshal Henry Stryker said. “If you do not have smoke detectors and CO detectors in you home, you should purchase and install some detectors immediately.”

Stryker recommends that residents follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions because there are differences between the various brands.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers additional tips about smoke alarms:

  • Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms are best, because if one sounds, they all sound.
  • The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year, or as instructed by the manufacturer. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks as a reminder.