News | March 4, 2020

Spring forward with DST, working smoke alarms

By Fire Prevention Office, Fire & Emergency Services Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond’s Fire Prevention Office would like to remind everyone of the importance of changing your smoke detector batteries when you move your clock forward March 8, in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time. The smoke detectors could be the most important safety equipment in your home, but in many cases, they are the least maintained. You can ensure your smoke detectors are working properly by doing the following in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time:
• Check the date of manufacture on your smoke detectors. If they are more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace them.
• Change the batteries. You should be testing the batteries each month, but if you don’t, changing the batteries in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time is a step in the right direction.
• Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement.
• Do not cover or paint over smoke detectors.

Currently, all residential structures are required to have a working smoke detector. Unfortunately, this requirement is often overlooked by homeowners, landlords and tenants. As a result, almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes in the United States with no smoke alarms or no working detectors at the time of the fire incident from 2012-2016. Of the detectors present in households with fires, only 57% were in working condition.

Even with smoke detectors present, residential fires can result in fatalities. Most fatalities are attributed to the following conditions:
• Being in the room where the fire started.
• Starting the fire, either accidentally or on purpose.
• Smoke inhalation while trying to put out a fire.
• Being disabled or 75 years old or older.
• Non-working smoke detectors.

To help prevent injury and death in the event of a home fire, fire prevention officials recommend having an evacuation plan in place and reviewing it regularly with everyone living in your home.

For further assistance or questions, please contact the DLA Richmond Fire Prevention Office at
(804) 279-6782.