Love it or hate it, daylight saving time is an unavoidable part of life for most Americans (for the time being, at least). When you set a reminder to spring your clocks forward this Sunday morning, make a note to check the batteries in your smoke detector as well. Fire safety departments across the country suggest using the biannual event as an excuse to practice this smart and potentially life-saving habit.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in nearly a quarter of home structure fire deaths, a smoke alarm was present but didn't function properly. A smoke detector's batteries should be replaced roughly twice a year, which is why the beginning and end of daylight saving time in March and November present the perfect opportunity to check them. In addition to changing your batteries when you change your clocks, the NFPA also recommends testing your smoke alarms at least once a month and replacing them completely after 10 years.
According to Sikeston, Missouri's Department of Public Safety, most deadly home fires occur at night. To make sure you'll be able to hear the alarm go off when you're asleep, they recommend installing one in each bedroom and the hallways that lead to them. After losing an hour of sleep this weekend you may feel tempted to put this off, but this is one item on your checklist you can't afford to ignore.