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Fire officials encourage checking smoke detectors on daylight saving

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Fire officials say as many turned the clocks forward Sunday, it is also a great opportunity for people to change their home smoke alarm batteries.

Smoke detectors are an important part of home fire safety and save hundreds of lives each year.

"Take this time when they're changing their clocks change their smoke detectors, don't just check them go ahead and change them," said Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp.

Blomenkamp said smoke detector batteries usually only last one year. He said when a fire breaks out in a home, minutes or even seconds can make all the difference.

"It may be the only thing that wakes you up to notify you that there is a fire or problem in your home, and same with carbon monoxide detectors," Blomenkamp said.

Daylight saving is also a reminder to check carbon monoxide detectors and all other devices that protect your home.

"You've gotta check your batteries in your CO detectors as well," Blomenkamp said.

According to Columbia Fire, although smoke detectors are in 96% of American homes, 19% do not work because of dead or missing batteries. This means roughly 26 million homes are at risk of non-working alarms, and an additional 4.5. million homes are at risk by not having smoke detectors.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) three of every five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non working alarms.

Last week after a fire in Jefferson City, fire chief Matthew Schofield wanted to remind the public of the importance of fire detectors.

"We always advise people to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their structures, make sure that the batteries are operational and that you test your smoke detectors routinely," Schofield said. 

Blomenkamp said daylight saving is also a good time to establish a fire safety plan with your kids in case there ever is a fire emergency.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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