Official: Rewind clocks, check smoke detectors

WINDER -- Barrow County Emergency Services officials are reminding all residents to make sure they set their clocks back an hour -- the perfect amount of time to change smoke alarm batteries in the home. Today marks the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Fire officials stress that the biannual clock change is the ideal reminder that smoke-detector batteries need periodic changing.

"Having a working smoke alarm in the home can double your chances of surviving a house fire," said department spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin, in anticipation of the end of Daylight Saving Time. "If the smoke alarm is battery operated, the batteries need to be changed every six months."

Dakin said smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement.

"Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning," he said. "Smoke alarms should be placed inside and outside the sleeping areas."

While on the subject of fire safety, Dakin said the occasion could provide families with the opportunity to develop an escape plan, in the event of fire.

"This should include two ways out (of the home) as well as a meeting place for everyone to go to," Dakin said. "The meeting place can be a big tree in the front yard, or the mailbox, or some other place."

For more safety tips, Dakin urges residents to visit the United States Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov.

"Let's all make sure we take the necessary steps to ensure our family's safety in the event of a fire," said Dakin. "One of the easiest ways is to have working smoke alarms."