Spring forward Sunday… and replace detector batteries

PARKERSBURG – Spring forward.

Daylight-saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, a time when people must set their clocks forward an hour.

The arrival of warmer weather also brings the need for residents to change their smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, local firefighters said.

Chief Inspector Tim Flinn with the Parkersburg Fire Department said the arrival of daylight-saving time is a good reminder for residents to change their batteries.

“This is the time to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to assure they are functioning properly,” he said.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor said the message is simple and the habit can save lives.

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms,” he said. “It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Battery program.”

The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries, officials said.

Taylor said the Change Your Battery program is a reminder for residents to test their alarms once a year. The most effective way to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries is to do so, he said.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends the replacement of smoke alarms every 10 years, officials said.

Communities nationwide witness home fire deaths each year, and everyone can work together to help reduce the number of fire fatalities, Taylor said.

Non-working smoke alarms rob people of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide, Taylor said.

The Parkersburg Fire Department will assist the elderly or physically challenged in installing detectors, Flinn said. Those who may need assistance can call 304-424-8470 or 304-424-8471.

Flinn said this time of year is a good time for families to review or implement a fire escape plan, as well as simulating a fire drill.

Fire season began March 1 and lasts through May 31.