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State Fire Marshal suggests testing smoke alarm batteries

POLK COUNTY – Sunday isn’t just for setting your clocks forward. The Oregon State Fire Marshal recommends testing smoke alarms before automatically changing batteries.

“Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery.”

Oregon requires ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery-powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery.

Other types of alarms offered are being sold with a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery.

To test your smoke alarm:

  1. Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.

  2. When replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct battery type to use.

  3. Always retest alarms after installing new batteries.

  4. Replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery.

  5. Inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or older. Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.

  6. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.

Smoke alarms can provide a critical early warning to a fire, increasing chances of survival. The state fire marshal suggests installing alarms on every level of your home and in each bedroom and outside sleeping area.

Call the local fire district if you are unable to climb a ladder to check your smoke alarm and need assistance.

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