RALEIGH, N.C. — Get ready to fall back this weekend as daylight saving time comes to an end.

Sunday, November 7, will be the time to set the clocks back one hour.

It’s also the perfect time Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey says to practice a life-saving habit: change the clock, change the battery in your smoke alarm.

“Your risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when you have smoke alarms that are working properly,” said Causey. “When you turn back your clocks, take the time to protect your family by making sure all smoke alarms in your home are working properly.”

According to a release, 109 North Carolinians have died this year due to fires so far this year, the majority of which involved inoperable or missing smoke alarms within the home.

Changing the battery routinely is a great way to help keep your home and everyone inside safe.

Causey also offers these fire preparedness tips, in addition to smoke alarm maintenance:

  • Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home outside sleeping areas. If you keep bedroom doors shut, place a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it. 
  • Prepare and practice an escape plan – know at least two ways to get out of a room, crawl low under smoke and plan where to meet outside.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean by regularly vacuuming over and around them. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation.
  • Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors or ducts that can interfere with their operation. 
  • Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.

For more information on how to check smoke alarm batteries or have an alarm installed, contact your local fire department or the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 1-800-634-7854.


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