March 11, 2021

Change smoke alarm batteries when ‘springing’ clocks ahead on March 14, state fire marshal recommends

Fire Marshal Tim Bean also recommends Missourians practice their family escape plan regularly

State Fire Marshal Tim Bean recommends Missourians use the return of daylight saving time this weekend as a reminder to change the batteries and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their homes. At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 14, clocks ‘spring ahead’ one hour. Bean also urges families to practice their family escape plan, and get into the habit of regularly planning how to evacuate their home in the event of a fire.

"Your risk of dying in a fire is reduced by one-half if you have a working smoke alarm in your home,” Fire Marshal Bean said. “Having working smoke alarms in your home is one of simplest and most important things you can do to protect your family. Three of five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.”

Bean said every family member, including children, should know two escape routes from every room in their residence. Parents should also go over fire evacuation plans with babysitters. He also said that as extended families begin considering overnight visits again, it’s essential to think of their safety in the event of a fire because one-half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep:

  • Explain the family escape plan, including the location of the designated outside meeting place, to overnight guests.
  • Show guests the two escape routes from the room in which they will be staying.
  • Make sure guests know the address of your home so that they will be able to call 911 once safely out of the house.
  • If you host a children’s “sleep over” party, make sure to show them the two escape routes from the room in which they will be staying.

Bean also reminds Missourians that they should have carbon monoxide alarms for their homes. Carbon monoxide (CO) 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 alarm on 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. Families should also select a safe gathering place outside the residence in the event of a fire. 


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