Get ready to Fall back...

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Get an extra hour of sleep this weekend when you "fall back" for daylight saving time, but keep your peace of mind all year long by changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Tennesseans should turn their clocks backward one hour on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015 at 2 a.m.

"Even alarms that are hard-wired should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested monthly to ensure they are providing the proper protection," State Fire Marshal and Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) Julie Mix McPeak said. "Use the extra hour we gain this weekend to make sure your home and family are fire-safe."

Many fatal fires occur at night while the victims are sleeping. The smoke and toxic gases generated by a fire can cause people to sleep more deeply, which narrows the likelihood of surviving a fire. A working smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home.

To help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, it is recommended that you replace the batteries regularly in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Twice a year is recommended. This reduces the chance of alarms chirping to indicate low batteries. All too often, a battery is removed and not replaced, putting a home's occupants at risk. There's no way to predict when a fire will occur, so even one night without an operational smoke alarm can be dangerous.

More helpful hints about smoke alarms:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement. For best protection, smoke alarms should be installed inside and outside bedrooms. Make sure everyone can hear the alarm and knows what it sounds like.
  • For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor alarms.
  • Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are available and are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps on these units, warning that the battery is low, 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.
  • Devise 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.

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