Firefighters remind residents to check smoke detectors

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Daylight-saving is not just a time to set your clocks -- firefighters are using the event to remind residents to check their smoke detectors, too.

Battalion Chief John Maydak with North Shore Fire Rescue is urging everyone to think about their safety on a day reserved for springing forward.

"The theme has always been -- change your clock, change your battery. So at that time, replacing the batteries in all of your smoke detectors is a real good practice," said Maydak.

Officials say checking the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide units is vital to your safety. Maydak says there should be one of each detector on every level of the home and that testing should take place at least once a month.

"Everyone in the house should know what they sound like so in case there is an emergency, you know how to react to it," Maydak said.

Officials say daylight-saving should also serve as a key reminder of emergency safety as a whole.

"Have an escape plan and practice with your family twice a year as a way to ensure you get out of your house safely in case you do have a fire" said Maydak. "Fire studies have shown that we typically have about three minutes to get out of the house when a fire starts."

Workers at Sterling True Value say preparedness seems to be on the minds of many, as only a few smoke detectors are left on the shelves.

"We do get a lot of people that come in and they are normally getting batteries, changing them out at this time," said Donovan Waite. "A lot of people coming in a lot recently now buying more smoke detectors."

Most smoke detectors have a 10-year shelf life. If you are unable to afford one, contact your local fire department for information about assistance in getting a smoke detector for free.