Public Safety

Daylight Saving Time: A Reminder for Safety

Test your smoke detector and switch out the batteries once a year.
Test your smoke detector and switch out the batteries once a year.

When setting your clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time this weekend, take the opportunity to do a quick and easy review of your safety plan.

Check to make sure all your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.

“We strongly urge our residents to take 10 minutes at most to check their smoke detectors for their own safety and that of their family,” said Greg Schreiner, fire marshal for County Fire. “It’s important to ensure they are all functioning properly because you’re staking your lives on those devices if a fire breaks out in the middle of the night.”

This typically requires pressing a button to hear the alarm activate. If it beeps, the battery is still good. Safety experts suggest checking the battery in your smoke detector on a monthly basis and replacing the battery annually.

Newer smoke detectors may have a special battery that has a 10 year service life that is not replaceable. In this case, continue to test the battery monthly and replace the entire unit after 10 years. Generally, all smoke detectors should be replaced after 10 years to ensure that continued protection is in place. This simple step can save your life or your loved ones. More than half of fatal home fires occur from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half by having a working smoke detector installed, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

You can also use the time change as a reminder to check your emergency supplies kit and replace your stored water so it won’t go stale. Also check the batteries in your kit and food and medication items to make sure those items have not expired. Emergency officials recommend that people rotate water and food out of their emergency supplies kits every six months.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact