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Remember to change your smoke detector battery

Staff Sgt. Robert Russell demonstrates how to properly check and change the battery in a smoke detector Oct. 1, 2012, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The National Fire Protection Association urges residents to check batteries monthly and change them every six months. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Adrian R. Rowan)

Staff Sgt. Robert Russell demonstrates how to properly check and change the battery in a smoke detector Oct. 1, 2012, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The National Fire Protection Association urges residents to check batteries monthly and change them every six months. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Adrian R. Rowan)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The staff of the Moody Fire Prevention office is urging everyone to make a potentially life-saving move when they set their clocks back one hour Nov. 2: take a moment to change their smoke alarm batteries.

Turning the clocks back will already be on the 'to-do' list for the majority of households. But while timekeeping is a vital part of our lives, it's shocking to know many people forget to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones by keeping their smoke alarm in the same working order.

Every year, the U.S. loses about 2,500 people to residential fires. Most fire victims die not as a result of burns, but from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases. Additionally, most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep.

Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries and minimize property damage by enabling residents to detect fires early in their development. The risk of dying from fires in homes without smoke alarms is twice as high as in homes that have working smoke alarms.

Here are some tips for smoke alarm maintenance to keep your home safe from dangerous fires:

· All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month
· If a smoke alarm is battery operated, replace the batteries at least twice a year
· Make replacement of batteries a seasonal routine, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring
· If a battery-powered smoke alarm begins to emit a low-power warning, usually a chirping sound, replace the battery immediately with a fresh one
· Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing and replacing smoke alarms

If you have any questions pertaining to smoke detectors or other fire prevention related concerns, call the Fire Prevention office at 257-4410, and don't forget to reset your clocks.