Throughout the year several smoke detectors are placed in homes throughout the city as part of the Fire Department's Smoke Detector Program. They are placed in homes that previously had no smoke detectors or have a malfunctioning one. Reminder cards labeled "Change Your Battery" are mailed out to all who receive free smoke detectors. They are mailed out three days before daylight savings time, which is when the entire nation is advised to change the batteries in their smoke detectors. Smoke detector maintenance tips also are on the card. This service is provided free of charge by the Fire Prevention Division; for more information call (816) 784-9100.
The Fire Department encourages residents to check the batteries in their smoke alarms. Remember when you adjust your clocks, replace your smoke alarm batteries. The following tips will help in testing and replacing batteries.
- Whether your alarms are hard-wired or battery-operated, NFPA recommends testing them once a month to make sure they are operating.
- A working smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a homefire. Testing is the only way to ensure they are working to protect you.
- Test each alarm by pushing the test button and listening for the notification sound. If you can't reach the alarm, stand under the alarm and push the test button with a broom handle.
- If your smoke alarms are battery operated, replace their batteries according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- NFPA recommends replacing batteries at least once a year or when the alarm chirps, alerting you that the batteries power is low.
- Replace the batteries immediately if you move into a new home.
- Make sure no one disables your smoke detectors by borrowing batteries for other uses.
- Everyone you live with should understand how critical it is to have working smoke alarms.