Fire Departments Express Importance of Maintaining Your Smoke Detectors

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - You changed your time for Daylight Savings, but have you changed the batteries on your smoke detector? The Odessa Fire Department wants to get the word out on maintaining what may be the most important gadget in your home.

"If you can't recall the last time you changed it, it's probably time," Odessa Fire Marshal, Detra White said.

Checking to see if those smoke detectors are working is usually the last thing on someone's mind.

"People become more unaware about things that you don't think about on a daily basis. It's kind of a out of sight, out of mind," Brad Ward with Cashway Lumber, said.

Since a smoke detector is the only device in your home that can alert someone of a fire, officials say not changing the batteries is the same as not having a smoke alarm at all.

"In the U.S., 3,000 people loss their lives to fire and at least 66% occur in homes without  smoke detector. It's absolutely critical," White said.

Fire Marshals say it's important to change the batteries out at least every six months, depending on how old the actual device is.

"They usually last 10 years but if you've lived there for 15 years, then it's time for a new one," White said.

If you don't have a working smoke detector in your home, the Odessa Fire Department says they will provide and install one for you, free of charge.