Change your clock, change your battery


Autumn is a season full of changes, and the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS) would like to remind all Maryland residents to remember to “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery.”

“All too often our firefighters and paramedics respond to fires in homes that do not have a working smoke detector,” said Fire Chief William Goddard. “In 2011, a Howard County resident also died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning; the carbon monoxide detector in his home had dead batteries. These tragedies can be reduced if everyone remembers to ‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery.’”

HCDFRS would like to advise citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as daylight savings time ends this Sunday, November 3, 2013. Also, be sure to remember these important safety tips:

•Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout your home so that when one sounds, they all sound.

•Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested. Remember the new state law requires a 10-year lifespan smoke alarm, which contains a 10-year, sealed-in battery.

•Dust or vacuum alarms when you change the batteries.

•Push the test button and test all alarms once a month using the test button.

•Prepare and practice two escape plans so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely in the event of a fire. Meet in a place a safe distance from the fire and where first responders can easily see you.

HCDFRS also offers free smoke alarm batteries to those in need of financial assistance. For more information about safety tips or to request free batteries, contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-313-6040, or via or