It’s time to fall back this weekend
by Natalie Netzel Staff Writer
NEWBERRY COUNTY — Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, giving everyone an extra hour of sleep but also serving as a reminder to change the batteries in smoke detectors.
“We recommend that when they change their clock, they change their battery,” said Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick. “If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, you need to replace it. Also, vacuum it and clean the dust around it to give it a good cleaning.”
Smoke detectors are required in homes being built today and Minick encourages residents to have one in every living space of the house as well as every level if there’s more than one floor. Living spaces include bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and other spaces. Bathrooms do not need a smoke detector, Minick said.
Smoke detectors are available at any general or hardware store. Because there are different kinds — ionization and photo electronic — Minick advises people to be familiar with the kind they need.
“If you have a gas appliance, you may need a CO detector,” Minick said.
Ionization detectors generally respond better to fires and work by having a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Photoelectric smoke detection is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. They work by aiming a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm, according to the NFPA.
Minick pointed out that they can offer help in changing the battery for the elderly.
“We still offer 10 year maintenance free smoke alarms for those 60 and older, those who are handicapped or disabled or have young kids,” said Minick.
When someone from the fire department does come out with the alarm, they also offer a free home fire inspection.
Along with changing batteries in smoke detectors, Minick encouraged homeowners to practice fire safety at home.
“It’s always a good time to practice escape routes. You should have two ways out,” said Minick. “It’s always a good time to remind people to check the fire extinguisher and have a working fire extinguisher that is charged up.”
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