Loudoun Co. firefighters say ‘change your clock, change your battery, check the date’

As Daylight Saving Time comes to an end, the Loudoun County Fire Department is asking everyone to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

In a video posted to YouTube, Deputy Chief Fire Marshall Micah Kiger, with the help of department dogs Thor and Bali, used the department’s daily briefing to encourage residents to use “falling back” as a reminder to check replacement dates on alarms and batteries, and replace them if needed.

“With the end of daylight saving time this morning… we need to remind everybody that they need to test their smoke alarms and change their batteries in the devices,” one officer said in the video.

Pointing to a recently released report from the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, the officers pointed to more than 346,800 fires in 2019 that led to 2,490 deaths, 11,760 injuries and over $7 billion in property damage. According to the report, those occurrences spike every year the changing of the clocks.

“As we move into the holiday season and people spend more time at home, furnaces, fireplaces and other fuel-burning appliances are used more, making working smoke and CO alarms all the more important,” the CPSC said in a statement.

So, what should you do as you fall back?

  • Test your alarms — smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home.
  • Change batteries — unless your alarm has a sealed 10-year battery, you should replace batteries once per year.
  • Make a fire escape plan — there should be a clear path out of each room and exit. During a fire, closing doors can help slow the spread of fire.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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