As you dial your clocks back one hour this weekend, one Vancouver Island fire chief is urging you to change your smoke alarm batteries as well.
This Sunday (Nov. 7) at 2 am, Daylight Savings Time (DST) comes to an end, with clocks across most of British Columbia and Canada dialling back to 1 am.
“While you’re changing your clocks, please make a point of installing new batteries in your smoke alarms,” Campbell River’s Thomas Doherty says.
It’s an important memo that should be taken seriously. According to Doherty, working smoke alarms ‘greatly increase’ the chances of surviving a house fire.
“We repeat this message year after year, but unfortunately homes with no smoke alarms, or no working smoke alarms, are still a common problem,” he says.
For Doherty, early detection is critical, as both fire and smoke spread incredibly fast. In fact, he says studies show that you may have as little as one or two minutes to escape a blaze.
“Having a sufficient number of properly-located, working smoke alarms in accordance with the British Columbia Building Code will give you the most time to escape a house fire,” Doherty adds.
“We recommend having a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each floor of your home. Please make regular smoke alarm testing in your home a priority.”
To keep your smoke alarms working their best, officials point to the “once-a-month, once-a-year, once-a-decade” rule — testing smoke alarms at least once a month, replacing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and replacing smoke alarms at least every ten years.