State Fire Marshall Reminds Missourians To Check Smoke Alarms This Weekend

This weekend is the end of daylight savings time, and Missouri’s State Fire Marshall uses the end of daylight savings time yearly to remind Missourians to test their smoke alarms and change batteries. He says, this year, that there will be an opportunity to get a smoke alarm installed in homes at no cost.

The American Red Cross’ “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” program not only offers residents smoke alarms at no cost, the alarms are installed by experts and families are trained on how to best escape their homes during a fire. Missouri residents can also register to participate in the free smoke alarm program online at this link. That link is available with this story on our website The Red Cross is currently accepting requests by delaying installations due to COVID-19. State Fire Marshall Tim Bean recommends everyone utilize this weekend to test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, change alarm batteries and practice their family fire escape plans.

Bean said about 60 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms and that one-half of home fire deaths occur overnight, while people are sleeping and might not wake up until it is too late. When people are awake, smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire.

Across the nation, according to the United States Fire Administration three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Thirty-eight percent of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarm was in the home. One-half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep. Bean also reminds Missourians to have carbon monoxide alarms in their homes.

The fire marshal recommends checks of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pushing the test button and replacing smoke alarms every 10 years because they lose their effectiveness over time.