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MCFRS News Release

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2012

Release ID: 12-011
Contact: Scott Graham, Public Information Office
(240) 876-1260 Phone
(240) 777-2442 Media Line
Follow us @MCFirePIO

Time to Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery?

It's a fact: If your smoke alarm was installed before March 11, 2002, it needs to be replaced.

Rockville - - - Montgomery County firefighters will be hitting the streets this weekend reminding residents when they change their clocks and “Spring Forward” that it is the perfect time of year to check and replace the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. In addition to changing the batteries this weekend, residents are urged to follow these simple steps to protect your life, your loved ones and your home:

  • Dust or vacuum smoke alarms when you change the batteries, unless your smoke alarm is sealed and is a 10-year long life unit.  
  • Test alarms once a month using the test button.
  • Replace the entire alarm if it’s more than 10 years old or doesn’t work properly when tested.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, and both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout your home so that when one sounds, they all sound. Interconnected alarms are available at most stores that sell smoke alarms.
  • Make sure everyone in your home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Involve your family! Take time to review your fire escape plans with your family and practice with a home fire drill. 

“Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths,” said Fire Chief Richard Bowers. “Children and senior citizens are most at risk and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to escape safely.”

If you need any assistance with fire escape planning or smoke alarms, call 311 to schedule a free evaluation by fire department representatives. To learn more about what you and your family can do to be safe, visit the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service website at



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