Replace Smoke Detector Batteries When Resetting Clocks

LIVINGSTON – When setting clocks ahead an hour on Sunday, March 13, to mark the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center urges homeowners to take a few extra minutes to change the batteries in household smoke detectors.

“It only takes a minute and should be done twice a year, each time you change your clock,” says Lisa Jones, BS, JFIS, a community burn educator with The Burn Center of Saint Barnabas, New Jersey’s only verified burn treatment facility.


Jones also reminds homeowners that the rule of thumb is to replace smoke detectors every 7 to 10 years, as their components may become less reliable and the potential of failure increases. “If you have any smoke detectors that were installed before January 2001 or you are not sure how old your alarms are, it is best to replace them,” Jones advises.

“We know the majority of all burn injuries can be prevented,” said Jones.  “And we know that working smoke detectors save lives.”

To keep you and your family safe, and help you get out safely in case of a house fire, Mrs. Jones offers the following tips:

  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, including basements, attics and garages, and most importantly, in every bedroom
  • Test detectors anywhere from once a week to once a month
  • Change your batteries every six months
  • Keep smoke detectors free of dust and dirt
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan with your family

To learn more about fire safety and for a template to develop a fire escape plan for your home, visit

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