Did you check your smoke alarm when the clocks went back an hour last month? Probably not. Like us, you were most likely too busy enjoying the extra hour in bed that very invitingly comes along with the autumn season.
However, according to safety experts, you should also have been readjusting your ovens, microwaves, and most important of all, your smoke detector.
While your smartphones and computers automatically reset to fit the change, chances are your safety devices don’t. So the two times a year we change our clocks actually also serve as perfect reminders to change the batteries in our fire alarms.
According to a survey conducted by American company ServiceMaster Restore, only 57% of the study participants had done this in the past six months, despite the fact that it’s all very easy (and necessary) to do.
In the UK, Simply Business reports that ‘Gov.uk advises that smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a ‘circulation space’, e.g a hall or landing. Carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted at head height, on a wall or shelf, about one to three metres from the fuel-burning appliance.’
To check it, all you have to do is lift, twist, or remove the cover of your smoke alarm, replace the battery with a brand-new one, close and snap the detector back into place, press the test button to make sure it’s working (you should hear a beep sound after this) and voila, you’re good to go. Well, almost.
Experts also recommend that you check the manufacture date of your smoke alarm. This is because most smoke detectors lose their efficacy after 10 years and will require replacing. So to be on the safe side, make a note of this and if you’re extra organised, why not set a reminder for its expiry date? After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.