State Fire Marshal Chief Dan Wallis is reminding all Louisianans to check the status of the life-saving devices in their homes, like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, when changing their clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m.
“It’s been a long-standing practice in the fire safety world for these two tasks to go hand-in-hand– change your smoke and CO alarm batteries when you change your clocks,” said Wallis, “These days, as many clocks spring forward automatically, it’s especially important for this reminder to reach every household in Louisiana. Take a moment right now to put ‘change your clocks, change your batteries’ on your to-do list for this weekend.”
When checking the status of these devices to determine whether a new battery is needed, also take note of their age. If you know, or suspect, that your smoke or CO alarms are older than 10 years, we highly recommend upgrading to the 10-year, sealed battery alarms that don’t require any battery replacement through their lifetime. These newer alarms will, however, require something we suggest anyway—pressing the “test” button once a month to ensure the devices are in working order.
“We say it all the time, but it is a fact that smoke alarms save lives,” said Wallis, “In 2022, almost 80 Louisianans lost their lives in residential fires. Only three of those cases involved structures with working smoke alarms at the time of the fires. Make sure your family is protected by having these devices in your home and in working order at all times.”
If you do not have a smoke alarm, and cannot afford one, our Operation Save-A-Life program can help. The program partners our agency with local fire departments to install smoke alarms for free for families that need them most. To learn more about the program and register for a smoke alarm, visit lasfm.org. You can also contact your local fire department to request a smoke alarm installation.