Change your clocks. Change your batteries.
The Wichita Fire Department is urging people to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms as they flip their clocks back an hour Sunday when daylight saving time ends.
All it takes is a 9-volt battery and about five minutes to refresh and test a smoke alarm, Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said.
“It’s a very important time of year to test those things and replace those batteries,” he said.
Don’t be fooled if your smoke alarm is hard-wired into your home, he added. The batteries — a back-up power source in case a fire disables the electricity — need replacing, too.
Sunday is also a good day to check the age of smoke alarms, which have a 10-year lifespan, Crisp said.
For homeowners and renters who can’t afford batteries or need a smoke alarm, the fire department is providing them for free through its Smoke Alarm Campaign. The initiative – in its second year – is sponsored by Scholfield Automotive dealerships, Interstate All Battery Center and Safe Kids.
For more information, call 316-268-4441 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those who need help replacing their batteries or testing their smoke alarms can contact the department to request a firefighter’s assistance.
In 2011, firefighters installed 108 free smoke alarms and dozens of batteries in homes, Crisp said.
So far this year, the department has given away 63 smoke alarms.
“It’s up to you to make it work and to test it,” Crisp said. “And if you can’t, we’ll come do it for you. We want everyone to be safe.”