Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery


As most Americans set their clocks back one hour, the Coppell Fire Department is encouraging homeowners to 'change your clocks and change your batteries' on Sunday, November 6th

"Fresh batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can help provide the extra seconds needed to save a life," Coppell Fire Chief Kevin Richardson said.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. Statistics show that in the United States a fatal home fire occurs every three hours. 

"The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are asleep," says Chief Richardson. "Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths."  

Chief Richardson recommends that residents use the extra hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, plan and practice escape routes, and suggest to neighbors and community members to do the same. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.

Residents should also change the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas.  Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning cause symptoms similar to those of the flu or a cold. Higher levels of poisoning lead to dizziness, mental confusion and severe headache among other issues.

Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to sound an alert before the exposure to carbon monoxide would present a hazard to a healthy adult.  Experts recommend that every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector.

Now is also a good time to test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector by following the manufacturers' instructions for testing.  Smoke alarms can be 'cleaned' by vacuuming them monthly or utilizing compressed air following the manufacturer instructions.  Smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years of service.