Daylight Saving Time begins 2:00 AM Sunday

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SPRINGFIELD - It's time to "spring forward." 

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM Sunday, March 13. 

It's also the time of year the State Fire Marshal recommends changing smoke alarm batteries. The State Fire Marshal says you should change smoke alarm batteries twice a year in order to make sure the alarms work properly.

“Changing smoke alarm batteries when we change our clocks is a great way to get in the habit of making sure our smoke alarms work in the case of an emergency,” said State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Smoke alarms can alert residents to a fire happening in their homes and offer an opportunity to escape to safety.”

More than 18,000 structure fires are reported on average each year in Illinois. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties where no working smoke alarms were present.

Illinois law requires every household to have smoke alarms within 15 feet of every bedroom, and at least one on each floor of the home.

Some advice about fire alarms, maintenance, and testing:

Installation
• NFPA strongly recommends either installing combination smoke alarms, or both ionization and photoelectric alarms, in the home. An ionization alarm is typically more responsive to a flaming fire, such as a pan fire. A photoelectric alarm is typically more responsive to a smoldering fire, as might occur when a lit cigarette is dropped on a sofa. Combination smoke alarms have both ionization and photoelectric capabilities.

• Make sure the smoke alarm you choose carries the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

• Consider installing interconnected smoke alarms. Interconnected smoke alarms offer enhanced protection; when one sounds, they all do.

• A licensed electrician can install either hard-wired multiple-station alarms or wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing. An electrician can also replace existing hard-wired smoke alarms with wirelessly interconnected alarms

Maintenance and Testing
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
• If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
• Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
• Change the batteries on smoke alarms at least twice a year. Daylight Savings Time can serve as a reminder to “Change your Clock, Change your Batteries.”

For more information on fire safety and prevention, please visit OSFM’s website at sfm.illinois.gov.

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