Department of Public Protection
Replace Your Smoke Alarm Battery As You Change Clocks

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 25, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-7760  

As Kentuckians change their clocks to mark the end of daylight-saving time on Nov. 4, they also should remember to change the batteries in their home smoke alarms, says State Fire Marshal Rodney Raby.

“A smoke alarm battery typically lasts about a year,” Raby said. “So an annual event such as the start of ‘slow time’ is a good reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly.
“We can save lives in Kentucky if residents will make sure they have working smoke alarms,” Raby said. “Unfortunately, too many people have alarms that don’t work because of missing or dead batteries.”

A smoke alarm emits a loud beep when it detects smoke from a fire. This warning can be a life saver, signaling to occupants that a fire is burning and giving them time to get out of a house or apartment.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 890 lives could be saved nationally each year if all homes had working smoke alarms. An estimated 65 percent of home fire deaths in 2002-2004 resulted from fires in home with no working smoke alarm.
The NFPA offers these tips:
• Install one smoke alarm on each level of a house and outside every bedroom.
• Test your devices, following manufacturer instructions.
• Wipe the dust off your smoke alarms occasionally.
• Never borrow a battery from a smoke alarm. You might forget to promptly replace it.
• Replace the devices every 10 years.
• Consider installing smoke alarms with “long-life” (10-year) batteries.
More tips for smoke alarms may be found at NFPA’s Web site,

The State Fire Marshal’s staff is part of the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.