WEST NEWBURY — Chief Michael Dwyer and the West Newbury Fire Department would like to remind residents to test their smoke detectors when setting the clocks ahead for daylight saving time.
Daylight saving begins on Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m.
“Testing and changing batteries in smoke detectors is a quick, easy habit that can save lives and prevent fires,” Chief Dwyer said. “We ask all residents and business owners to take a few moments to check their devices to ensure they’re working properly.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 71% of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The West Newbury Fire Department asks that all business owners not only change the batteries in their clocks, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, but also replace the batteries on wall mounted emergency lights and exit signs. All businesses have emergency backup lighting as a safety feature to provide temporary lighting in case of power failure.
In order to keep your home safe and prevent fires, Chief Dwyer recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by NFPA:
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
- Replace batteries when you change your clocks.
- Make sure that everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (life-long) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
The replacement process is fairly simple and batteries can be purchased for most units at the local hardware store. Many fire protection companies can also provide this service.
Chief Dwyer would also like to remind residents to ensure their house number is properly displayed and can be easily seen to help first responders find the correct building when responding to a call, as per the town’s bylaws.
Numbers should be at least three inches tall; posted either on the building, a post or mailbox; visible from the street; and placed under lighting and on a contrasting background.
Those in violation will be given a warning on the first offense and be charged $25 per month for each subsequent offence.