Time to Fall Back; Change Batteries in Smoke Alarms - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Time to Fall Back; Change Batteries in Smoke Alarms

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It's time to fall back. Most Americans will be able to get an extra hour of sleep this weekend thanks to the annual shift back to standard time.

The change officially occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday, but most people will set their clocks back before heading to bed Saturday night.

Residents of Hawaii, most of Arizona and some U.S. territories don't have to change since they do not observe daylight saving time.

Public safety officials say this is also a good time to put a new battery in the smoke alarm, no matter where you live.

Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. local time March 9.  (AP)

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Meanwhile, with the upcoming time change, the Reno Fire Department says it's a good easy reminder when changing clocks to replace the batteries in smoke alarms.

In a fire, working smoke alarms in a home can mean the difference between life and death. "Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained provide an early warning signal which could allow everyone in the home to safely escape," advised Reno Fire Marshal Jeff Donahue. While current code requires a smoke alarm in every sleeping area, Donahue points out that the minimum protection for homes is one smoke alarm outside of each sleeping room, and one on each level of the home including the basement.

Residents should use batteries recommended by the manufacturer and make sure they are firmly connected to the smoke alarm contacts. Remember if a smoke alarm starts making "chirping" noise, it's a signal battery levels are low and need to be replaced. Dusting smoke detector surfaces and vacuuming the air vents regularly will keep dust and spider webs from fouling detection elements or causing false alarms. All smoke alarms, including those with 10 year lithium batteries, should be tested monthly. Smoke alarms that use ordinary batteries should have new batteries installed at least once a year.

Donahue would like to remind Reno residents that the Reno Fire Department has free residential smoke alarms, including ADA hearing impaired smoke alarms for qualified applicants. Members of the Reno Fire Department will install these detectors free of charge thanks to a fire prevention and safety grant from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Reno Fire Department is dedicated to reducing the occurrence of home fires and home fire injuries through prevention and protection education. For information on preventing home kitchen fire in addition to other fire safety information, including how to apply for a free smoke alarm, contact the Reno Fire Prevention Division at 775.334.2300. 

From the City of Reno

From Washoe County Health District

Daylight saving time is coming to an end this weekend, and while you're resetting your clocks, it's also a great time to check your stocks and make sure you're prepared for any emergency situation that may occur during the winter months.

Having an emergency preparedness kit is the first step to ensure families and businesses can sustain themselves in the event of illness outbreaks or natural disasters, like severe winter storms, earthquakes, fires, and floods. Emergency supplies can be contained in new, large trashcans, backpacks or suitcases and can be assembled over several months by adding just one or two items to shopping lists. Kits should include food, water, a first aid kit, tools, copies of important documents, clothing and bedding, medications, and pet supplies. Household preparedness kits should include enough supplies to sustain everyone in the household for up to three weeks.

Recommendations for family emergency preparedness kits include:
• Prescription and over-the-counter medications
• Toiletries, including soap
• First-aid kit
• Baby formula and diapers
• Extra eyeglasses
• Pet food/medications/leashes/collars/ID tags
• Extra batteries for flashlight(s) and radio(s)
• Garbage bags
• Cash
• Non-perishable food, ready-to-eat canned meats, soups, fruits, vegetables, peanut butter, protein bars, utensils, can openers, and sterno for heating
• One gallon of water per person per day and fluids with electrolytes that will last for two to three weeks

Also consider kits for your cars and trucks. Cold fronts and severe weather can move in quickly and strand motorists. The best preparation for severe winter weather including snow, subfreezing temperatures, strong winds, ice or even heavy rain requires planning ahead. Almost everyone carries a cell phone – keep it charged up. And at a minimum keep a blanket, radio, flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, and a 3-day supply of food and water in your vehicles.  Don't forget to tell friends or relatives that you're travelling, what route you're taking, and when you expect to arrive. This information could save your life if you get stuck.

It's also important to understand the terms of declining weather and pending winter storms.
•      A winter weather advisory means that cold, ice and snow are expected
•      A winter storm watch means severe weather, heavy snow or ice is possible within a day or two
•      A winter storm warning means that severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon

Remember that planning ahead, assembling an emergency supply kit, staying informed, and keeping those in your circle informed about you are the best ways to stay safe through the uncertain days of winter. For more information visit www.ReadyWashoe.com.

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