What does this mean and what does it have to do with fire safety?

The City of Santa Barbara Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services (OES) wants everyone to know that Smoke Alarms (Detectors) can save lives when operating properly. There are many types, however most smoke alarms are battery operated or have battery backup features. It is important to test your alarms each month to assure that they are in working order. Also you need to be sure the battery has adequate power to operate the alarm. Smoke alarms have a monitoring system for the battery and start chirping when the battery is low. All of this sounds great and fool proof, however several lives have been lost due to non-working smoke alarms. Many were found without batteries in them.

The Reason: Maybe someone took the battery for a game or radio, or removed the battery to stop the chirping or maybe they were going to replace it and forgot. Because of these findings the program “Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery” was developed. If everyone follows this program they should never be subject to a non-working smoke detector due to a missing or weak battery.

We should change the battery in all the smoke alarms, the same time we change our clock time. If a specific battery type is recommended then that’s the one to use. Whether one is recommended or not, always be sure you are purchasing a fresh battery. Always check the dates on the battery.


The life of a smoke detector is 10 years.

If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Other things to think about:

· Review your emergency kit

· Have a Fire Evacuation Practice with your family

· Make sure you are signed up with Reverse 911

· Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector; if you haven’t already

· Make sure your chimneys are clean

· Clear any flammable materials from floor heaters and gas heaters

· Don’t put extension cords under carpets

Remember, properly working smoke alarms can save lives! For more information contact your local Office of Emergency Services at 805-564-5711


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