State Fire Marshal: ‘Change the Batteries’ this Weekend

The Kentucky State Fire Marshal is reminding Kentuckians to change the batteries in each of your home’s smoke alarms when you spring your clocks forward this weekend to daylight saving time.

“Early warning is the first line of defense in escaping a fire,” said Mike Haney, director of the Public Protection Cabinet’s Division of Fire Prevention and the state’s fire marshal. “Having a working smoke alarm cuts the changes of dying in a reported fire by half.”

Smoke detectors should be on every floor of your home, including the basement and in each sleeping area. “The bottom line is smoke detectors can save the lives of your family and pets,” said Haney. It’s simple: When you set your clocks forward, change the batteries in your smoke alarms.”  Other safety tips, according to Haney, include:

  • Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory;
  • On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room or near the stairway to the upper level or both locations;
  • Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level;
  • Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking;
  • Follow manufacturer’s installation instructions;
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button;
  • If the alarm chirps, the battery is low. Replace immediately.
  • Haney reiterates the value of education in preventing fires in your home. “Make sure that everyone in your home knows about fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire in your residence,” he said. “Pay attention to family members with disabilities to ensure everyone escapes a home fire. Have a fire escape plan that includes two ways out for everyone.”

    For additional information on fire prevention, visit the Division of Fire Prevention’s website at

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