11/09/10 The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Hoosiers to change their smoke alarm batteries the same time they set their clocks back.

“To ensure proper activation, smoke alarm batteries should be replaced twice a year, every year, says” Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “A great way to remember to do this is twice a year when Indiana falls back or springs forward. When the time changes, change your batteries.”

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping area, outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure you follow installation instructions carefully, and test smoke alarms monthly, in addition to changing all smoke alarm batteries twice a year.

 “When it comes to fire prevention, the importance of smoke alarms cannot be overstated,” says Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “More than half of all fatal home fires happen at night while people are asleep. The warning provided by smoke alarms doubles an individual’s chances of surviving a residential fire.” 

Smoke Alarm Tips

  • Smoke alarms can be purchased at your local hardware, home supply or general merchandise store.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.
  • Some fire departments offer safety alarms at little or no cost to recipients.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every floor of the home, including basements, and in every sleeping area.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
  • Replace your batteries at least twice a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested. 

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has also purchased 1,200 free smoke alarms, designed for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, to distribute to financially qualifying Hoosiers throughout the state.

Individuals who are interested in receiving one of these specialized smoke detectors, and who cannot afford to purchase one on their own, should apply online at www.in.gov/dhs by clicking on “apply for free smoke alarm.”

For more information about fire safety, visit www.in.gov/dhs/getprepared.

Leadership for a Safe and Secure Indiana