With daylight savings time occurring on Sunday, March 9, Durham firefighters are reminding residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when they set their clocks forward.

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According to Fire Marshal Edward Reid, swapping out old smoke alarm batteries for fresh ones is a step in the right direction when practicing smoke alarm maintenance. “We’re always stressing the importance of a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms with old batteries aren’t reliable and may not function well or soon enough to alert you that smoke or fire is near,” said Reid. “In the event of a fire, every second is precious and needed, so the sooner you know of an emergency, the sooner you and your family can escape. Only properly working smoke alarms can offer this early warning.”

The department has the following smoke alarm safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Change the batteries every six months.
  • Vacuum or dust smoke alarms to keep them working properly.

Residents who can’t provide or install smoke alarms for themselves, or who are unable to change batteries, qualify for the department’s “Alarm for Life” program.  To learn more about smoke alarm maintenance or the “Alarm for Life” program, contact Sierra Mckoy, public information officer for the Durham Fire Department, at (919) 560-4233, ext. 19242 or by email at

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Fire Department Wants You To Spring Forward Safely  was originally published on