For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Avery Webb, Deputy Fire Chief, (510) 981-5501


Berkeley, California (Friday, November 01, 2013) - Change your clock, change your fire alarm battery – 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, fire departments around the country encourage linking the start and stop of Daylight Saving Time, which ends Sunday morning at 2am, with replacing alarm batteries.

“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 smoke 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 alarms, visit the Berkeley Fire Department smoke alarm page or contact the Fire Prevention Division at (510) 981-5585.