Media Release

Smoke Alarms: Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:30 AM
Smoke Detector

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Fire Rescue wants residents to take the end of daylight saving time, on November3, 2013, as a reminder to, “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery.” Everyone is encouraged to use the extra hour they “gain” from the time change to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, test the alarms and remind friends, family, neighbors and fellow community members to do the same (The most commonly cited cause of nonworking smoke alarms is worn out or missing batteries).

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the ‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery’ program.” says Mark Smith, Alachua County Fire Marshal. “Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.” Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years and to have both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to alert people to all types of home fires.

Home fires injure and kill thousands each year. Those most at risk include:

·        Children — Home fires kill 500 children ages 14 and under each year. Roughly threequarters of child fire fatalities under age 15 occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.

·        Seniors — Adults 75 and older are 2.8 times more likely to die in a home fire.

·        LowIncome Households — Many lowincome families are unable to afford batteries for their smoke alarms. These same households often rely on poorly installed, maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment — a main cause of fatal home fires.

For more information, contact Alachua County Fire Marshal Mark Smith at 352-384-3103 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).