WINNSBORO — This Sunday is time to spring forward, not just in “A Town for All Time” — Winnsboro — but throughout South Carolina.
Before going to bed Saturday night, residents need to move their clocks ahead one hour for daylight-saving time. The time officially changes at 2 a.m.
While the time change can be an inconvenience to some, the time change is part of our culture.
Since that act is so ingrained and necessary, area fire officials have connected a potentially lifesaving practice with the yearly time change — changing the batteries in smoke detectors.
According to Fairfield County Fire Marshal Tony Hill, changing smoke detector batteries when the time changes is the national standard.
“All smoke detectors will chirp and warn you when the battery is getting low,” he said, “but the danger in relying upon that mechanism is that people will become annoyed and just remove the battery rather than replace it. If they forget to replace the battery, then they will not have a smoke detector when they need one.”
Smoke detectors save lives. Hill said you never know when you will need a functioning smoke detector, so it is crucial to keep fresh batteries in them.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, people are twice as likely to die from a fire if the home has no working smoke alarms.USFA reminds residents that smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by detecting fires early and alerting residents, allowing crucial time to escape.
The agency recommends that residents test smoke alarms monthly and that they have alarms installed on every level of their homes, especially in sleeping quarters.
Every year, approximately 2,600 Americans die in home fires. Of those deaths, 52 percent occur between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., when residents are typically sleeping. Smoke and toxic gases from a home fire are as deadly as heat and flames. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious.
The majority of fire victims die or are injured from exposure to smoke and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, not actual burns. In addition, smoke obscures vision, decreasing your ability to escape.
Proper mounting of alarms and replacing the alarms is another crucial part of their effectiveness. Beware of air vents or registers and other spaces with high air flow, as those are poor locations for an alarm.
The best location is on the ceiling in the center of a room. If that area is not feasible, the second best option is to wall mount the alarm 12 inches lower than one’s ceiling.
Replace the entire smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years. Writing the date of purchase in the inside of the alarm case is a useful way to remember when to replace the device, according to USFA.
Some information for this article was taken from https://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/focus/smoke_alarms.shtm