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Don’t forget! Set your clocks back and check smoke detectors

Fall is coming, and with it comes the time to set our clocks back one hour.

Daylight Savings Time comes to a close Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 a.m. and won’t return until March 12, making days shorter this fall and winter for everyone across the country.

But changing your clock isn’t the only thing safety officials are asking Decatur County residents to do this weekend. Changing the batteries in your smoke etectors is a habit that fits well with setting our clocks back, and can also save lives and homes during the colder months.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner, and both are holidays that historically see an increase in house fires.

According to the American Red Cross, having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries and costing $554 million in property damage.

For homes that do not have smoke detectors, or your detector is more than 10 years old, now is the time to install or replace smoke detectors on every level of the home and outside every sleeping area.

When installing a smoke detector, one should mount it high on the wall at least six inches down from the ceiling. If installing on the ceiling, the smoke detector should be mounted at least six inches away from the wall.

The National Fire Protection Association offers these tips to staying on top of your smoke alarms at home:

It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.

Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.

There are two kinds of alarms. Ionizations smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the house.

Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.

People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms.

These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers

Contact BPS at (229) 248-2038 ext. 313 to schedule a free inspection of your smoke alarm.