With the change to Standard Time coming this weekend, Starkville Fire Department officials are reminding local residents and Mississippi State students to check the batteries in the smoke detectors in their homes or apartments.
The change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time provides the perfect time to do that, said Mark McCurdy, one of two SFD fire marshals.
“With the changing of the clocks for the winter months at the end of this week, we recommend that people check and test their home smoke detectors. They should test their home smoke detectors a minimum of twice a year,” McCurdy said.
This is the perfect time for testing and changing your home’s smoke alarm batteries. Every year we strongly encourage residents to test smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change your batteries out twice a year in conjunction with the time change,” McCurdy said.
“Sometimes the batteries will fade down and the detector will not sound as loud as it should, so you should push the test button and hold it down for a few seconds to make sure the detector sound is loud enough. If you ever hear the detector making a low beeping sound every so often it is telling you to replace your battery.”
Dust accumulation around the smoke detector can also affect its working order, McCurdy said. “A lot of dust on the detector will prohibit it from working properly and will also cause false alarms, as well,” he said. “Check to see if dust has collected around the detector and if so you should try and clean the dust away from the detector.”
Residents who do not have smoke detectors should obtain one for their home or apartment. McCurdy said.
“Every home or apartment should have at least one working smoke detector. If you don’t have one, it is imperative that you get one, especially if you have children,” McCurdy said. “We’ve had fires in Starkville where people have escaped safely because of working smoke detectors.”
“With the winter months approaching is very important that every home have good working smoke detectors. We statistically see more home fires in the winter months than we do during the summer months,” McCurdy said.
“We recommend that you place one detector outside of each bedroom and also one inside each bedroom. So depending on the size of your home and the number of bedrooms will determine the number of smoke detectors you should have in your home.”
The Fire Department has recently received a sizable donation of smoke detectors to be distributed to the public, McCurdy said. A free smoke detector can be requested by calling the department at 323-2962 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.