Hickory – Is your smoke alarm working? On March 8 the spring time change will occur and this is a good time to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.

Although a large percent of homes have smoke alarms, many may not work because of dead or missing batteries. These nonworking alarms give residents a false sense of security. To check an alarm, firefighters recommend pushing the test button. The alarm should sound a loud beeping sound by the time you count to 10. If not, it needs to be replaced immediately.

Hickory Fire Chief Matt Hutchinson stated “Working smoke alarms provide an early warning to the dangers of smoke and fire. This early warning is particularly important for those most at risk such as children and seniors. Changing smoke alarm batteries once a year is one of the simplest, and most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.”

Hutchinson continues “If residents do not own a smoke alarm or need help changing batteries or checking alarms, I encourage them to contact their fire department immediately to receive assistance.”

Another fact that people may not be aware of is that alarms also have a service life of typically ten years and should be replaced at that time. Another good idea is to install smoke alarms in bed rooms so you can “Hear the beep where you sleep.” Firefighters also suggest taking time to plan “two ways out” and to practice escape drills with the entire family.

For more information about smoke alarms, call the Hickory Fire Department at (828) 323-7521.