State fire marshal recommends changing smoke alarm batteries when clocks spring forward on Sunday

Division of Fire Safety recommends Missourians regularly practice their family fire escape plans

State Fire Marshal Tim Bean recommends Missourians use the return of daylight saving time this weekend to change the batteries and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 13, clocks spring forward one hour. Bean also urges families to practice their fire escape plans.  Safety experts recommend families practice their home escape plans at least twice each year.

“The vast majority of residential fire deaths occur in homes that do not have smoke alarms or where the alarms were not functional, usually because of dead batteries,” Fire Marshal Bean said. “One of simplest and best decisions you can make for your family’s safety is to make sure you have working smoke and CO alarms.” 

The risk of dying in a fire is cut by one-half by having working smoke alarms in your home. About one-half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. That’s why it’s important for all family members to be able to act react quickly and get out. Every family member, including children, should know two escape routes from every room in their residence. This should be shared with overnight guests, too.

Bean also reminds Missourians that they should have carbon monoxide alarms for their homes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, which can be deadly if undetected.

The fire marshal makes these recommendations:

  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years because they lose their effectiveness over time.
  • Install additional smoke alarms if you don’t have a minimum of one alarm on every level of the home, inside all bedrooms, and outside bedrooms.
  • Plan two different escape routes from your home and practice the routes with the entire family. Families should also select a safe gathering place outside the residence in the event of a fire.




For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'