SFMO: Don’t Let Fire Safety ‘Fall Back’ When Daylight Saving Time Ends!

Tennesseans Should Check, Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms
Thursday, November 04, 2021 | 10:00am

NASHVILLE — With the end of daylight saving time on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at 2 a.m. (CDT), the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) remind Tennesseans to check the batteries in their smoke alarms to ensure these important fire safety devices are properly functioning.

“There’s no way to predict when a home fire will occur, so even one night without an operational smoke alarm can be dangerous,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “As daylight saving time ends, I encourage Tennesseans to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. If

Tennesseans need working smoke alarms, I urge them to contact their local fire departments and ask if they participate in the ‘Get Alarmed, Tennessee!’ smoke alarm program.”

Most fire fatalities occur at night while victims are sleeping. The harmful smoke and toxic gases generated by a home fire can cause people to sleep more deeply which reduces the likelihood of escaping a home fire. Working smoke alarms can alert a home’s sleeping residents thereby doubling the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time residents have to escape a house fire.

Since 2012, more than 320 people have been alerted to a house fire by smoke alarms installed by local fire departments through the “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” program.

To help ensure the safety of Tennesseans, consumers should replace the batteries twice a year in their home’s smoke alarms unless they have smoke alarms with 10 year sealed batteries, which require the entire smoke alarm to be replaced when the alarm chirps. This reduces the chance of alarms chirping to indicate low batteries.

When it comes to smoke alarms, Tennesseans should remember the following tips:

  • Install working smoke alarms inside and outside of every sleeping area and have at least one alarm on every level of the home. Make sure everyone can hear the alarm and know what it sounds like.
  • Smoke alarms with 10 year sealed batteries are available and designed to last for the life of the alarm. If the alarm chirps on these units, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • Test alarms once a month using the test button. Replace the entire alarm if it's more than 10 years old or doesn't work properly when tested.
  • Create a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a common meeting place. Share and practice the plan with all who live in the home, including children.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to your pre-planned meeting place to call 911.

For more tips on keeping your family fire safe, visit tn.gov/fire.