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Local News

Time To Spring Ahead, Change Smoke-Alarm Batteries

Clocks should be advanced an hour before going to bed Saturday night

Is it losing an hour of sleep, or gaining another hour of daylight after work?

Either way you look at it, clocks turn forward one hour on Sunday morning for daylight savings time.

Officially, the clock springs forward at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., so set them ahead on Saturday night (including those alarm clocks) to avoid being late to any Sunday events.

Clocks in smart phones, computers and many other electronic devices should jump ahead automatically overnight.

Local fire departments remind everyone that this also is a good time to change the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors.

Home fire fatalities peak between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

“A working smoke alarm can give your family the extra seconds you need to get out of a home fire safely,” Capt. David Sadecki said.

Smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors can be tested by pushing the test buttons, and families should take the opportunity to practice escape routes, he said.

Working smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom and hallway, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department said. Working alarms save lives and cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.

It's very common for the department to respond to house fires with no smoke detectors at all or non-working ones, fire inspector Ryan DiGuilio said. 

There's a perception that flames harm people in house fires, but smoke is what injures or kills a lot more people, he added.

"There's a lot more of that in an enclosed space than fire." 

Some newer buildings have smoke alarms wired in, but the batteries in those should still be changed as a failsafe, fire officials said. Commercial buildings should have alarm systems serviced by a licensed technician, too, since they do need occasional maintenance. 

There's also an easy reminder for testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly: "Take a second on the second," DiGuilio said. 

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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