Spring forward and check your batteries

The Iowa Department of Public Safety reminds all Iowans to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend when they set their clocks for daylight saving time. The State Fire Marshal Division recommends that you change your smoke alarm batteries on March 9 and every year at daylight savings time. Taking this simple step can save the lives of you and your family.

Many fatal fires occur at night while the victims are sleeping. A working smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home. Fire safety is as simple as making a habit of changing your smoke detector batteries when the time changes in spring and fall.

Remember these tips about smoke alarms:

Have smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially outside sleeping areas and preferably inside bedrooms as well.

Test them at least once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Daylight savings time is a great time to do this.

Replace all detectors after 10 years.

Place smoke alarms according to manufacturerâ??s directions.

Clean the outside only of a smoke alarm by gently going over the cover with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Never paint a smoke alarm.

Whenever a smoke alarm beeps, take it seriously. It might just be a false alarm from cooking, temperature changes, or dust, but you canâ??t afford to ignore the alert. Everyone in the family needs to react immediately.

Develop and practice a home escape plan. Make sure your family knows two ways out of each room, a safe meeting place outside, how to call 911 once theyâ??re out, and why they should never go back into a burning house.

(Information provided by Iowa Department of Public Safety)