Clocks go ahead one hour on Sunday, take the time to check your smoke and CO alarms

Ontario Fire Marshal: In 45 per cent of fatal fires, there are not working smoke alarms

The Barrie Fire and Emergency Service has a homework assignment it wants you to complete.

This is the weekend clocks spring forward one hour, at two o’clock Sunday morning.

“Change the hour, check the power. Change the battery, check the alarm.”

That’s the message from Samantha Hoffman, Public Fire and Life Safety Officer has concerning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

“When you are changing your clocks, it’s a good reminder to go through your house and check the dates on the alarms,” said Hoffman. “Anything older than 10 years needs to be replaced. Push those buttons so you can hear that the alarms are functioning.”

Hoffman said if you are changing power and checking power on the alarms or changing batteries and battery back-up alarms, then twice-a-year checks are sufficient.

Generally, fire departments encourage you to check alarms when clocks fall back one hour in November and spring forward one hour in March.

According to the Ontario Fire Marshal website, Hoffman said their stats show in 45 per cent of fatal fires there are no working smoke alarms.

“We find people think they are protected and they are not. They don’t realize that the alarms expire or they don’t change the batteries or check the power on them.”

Hoffman said working smoke alarms are the only things that will give you and your family time to safely escape if there is a fire.

“Push the button and make a plan.”

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