Changing clocks means time to change batteries

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With daylight saving time starting at 2 a.m. Sunday, the American Red Cross is reminding everyone about the importance of making sure smoke detectors are working properly.

Batteries should be replaced every six months, or when the clocks change in spring and fall. Dust can get into a detector’s sensors, making them less effective, so all smoke detectors - even hard-wired ones - should be replaced every 10 years.

Richard Smith, executive director for the American Red Cross serving western and central South Dakota, notes that working smoke detectors can mean the difference between life and death should a fire break out.

“We know that there are lots of homes that don’t have smoke detectors,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, some cases end up being fatalities where people are not awake in the middle of the night, and they’re not able to get out of the home. It’s really important that people take a few minutes to either check them or get new ones installed so that they’re safe.”

If you cannot afford a smoke detector or need assistance with smoke detector installation and maintenance, the American Red Cross may be able to help. Visit for more information.

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