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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Avery Webb, Deputy Fire Chief, (510) 981-5501


Berkeley, California (Thursday, March 06, 2014) - Change your clock, change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries - and maybe save a life. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms may be the most important device to have in the home, but they are useless without fresh batteries.

As a simple way to remind people to swap out old batteries for new ones, fire departments around the country encourage residents to change their batteries when Daylight Saving Time starts or stops. Daylight Saving Time 2014 starts on March 9th, Sunday morning at 2 A.M.

"The few seconds it takes to replace a battery could mean the difference between life and death," said Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong.

Dead, disconnected or missing batteries played a role in 73 percent of smoke alarm failures between 2005 and 2009, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Almost two-thirds of fire deaths in a home did not have a working smoke alarms.

More homes have carbon monoxide alarms as a result of a state law that took effect in January 2011. The law required every single-family residence or duplex to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed if gas appliances are used for heating or cooking, or if there is an attached garage.

To learn more about smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, visit the Berkeley Fire Department smoke alarm page or contact the Fire Prevention Division at (510) 981-5585.


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