Check smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Check smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks

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YAKIMA--Daylight saving time ends this weekend and we'll all get an extra hour of sleep, but the time change has firefighters urging people to make sure their home is safe.

Smoke detectors save thousands of lives each year.  So while you go around changing clocks this weekend, firefighters ask you to check your smoke detectors to see if it needs some new batteries.

When fires break out, smoke alarms give early notice that can be crucial to saving your home or your life.

Typically there are more house fires this time of year, when many people start using wood stoves and space heaters.

The smoke is more dangerous than the actual flames.  Though detectors often fly under the radar, you need to be sure it's working just in case.

"Smoke detectors are up, they're out of the way and when they're not operating [people] don't even think about it," Lt. Don Dexter, Yakima Fire Department, said.

Dexter said 80 percent of fire deaths nationwide happen in homes without working smoke alarms.

Working detectors also lead to firefighters being alerted faster.

When YFD responds to a home without them, they'll normally leave the family a working alarm.