Change batteries in home smoke detectors when changing clocks

Author: Notre Dame Fire Department

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The Notre Dame Fire Department maintains fire prevention devices and protocols on campus, but the department wants the Notre Dame community to be safe at home too. 

This Saturday night when you go to bed, don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour — and when you change your clocks, change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Do the same when we “spring ahead” one hour in a few months. It’s an easy practice to keep your smoke detector’s batteries fresh.

According to the NDFD and the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.


  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. 
  • Current alarms on the market employ different types of technology including multi-sensing, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined. 
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions while mitigating false alarms. 
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove. 
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.


  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. 
  • Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Originally published by Notre Dame Fire Department at on November 02, 2021.