March 08, 2018

Missouri fire marshal advises changing smoke alarm batteries as clocks ‘spring ahead’ this weekend

Three out of five home fire deaths in the United States occur in properties without working smoke alarms

State Fire Marshal Tim Bean is encouraging Missourians to think about fire safety as they “spring ahead" their clocks this weekend. The twice yearly time changes are excellent reminders to change the batteries and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11, clocks move ahead one hour for the beginning of daylight saving time.

"I strongly encourage everyone to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as we shift to daylight saving time this weekend because it could save a loved one’s life,” Fire Marshal Bean said. “Having working smoke alarms in your home is one of the simplest steps you can take to protect your family. Take a minute this weekend to check your alarms, replace dead batteries, and install smoke alarms if you don’t have them in every bedroom and on every level of your home.”

According to the United States Fire Administration:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
  • Thirty-eight percent of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarm was in the home.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.
  • Half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.

Fire Marshal Bean also reminds Missourians that in addition to smoke alarms they should have carbon monoxide alarms for their homes. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, which can be deadly if undetected.

The fire marshal makes these recommendations:

  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years because they lose their effectiveness over time.
  • Install additional smoke alarms if you don’t have a minimum of one inside every level of the home, inside all bedrooms and outside bedrooms.
  • Plan two different escape routes from your home and practice the routes with the entire family.
  • Remember, batteries removed from smoke and CO alarms don’t have to be discarded. They can be used in other devices that are not critical to your safety. 


For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail