Scottsboro Fire Department holds a smoke detector contest

That's the reminder from state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. "You change the batteries twice a year, which this weekend is a great opportunity to change the batteries because we go to Daylight Saving Time".

Brock said he recalls several incidents over the years where people suffered injuries in fires where there was not a working smoke detector. "Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths". The Red Cross also provides canteen services to fire departments while they fight fires.

The reason they need to be replaced is that the smoke sensors lose sensitivity over time, according to Consumer Reports. Here in west central OH, the Red Cross has installed 2,000 smoke alarms. The smoke alarms are supposed to be good for 10 years.

More than 2,300 people die each year in home fires. "So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery". Smoke alarms should also be placed in finished basements.

"Smoke coming from the ground floor will take longer to reach a smoke alarm on another floor, and vice versa".

"Testing your smoke alarms is a very easy thing to do", Merriman said.

Experts say photoelectric smoke alarms may be a wise investment to install in bedrooms and hallways. "Then take a step stool and some 9-volts to your parents or older neighbor's and ask if you can refresh their smoke alarms".

In Chandler, residents can call the Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department's Smoke Alarm program to schedule an appointment to have a volunteer check smoke detectors and to change batteries. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires.

Smoke alarms detect and alert people to fire in its early stages, giving people the time needed to escape safely.