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Change your clocks, change your batteries

A reminder from the Saint John Fire Department

The “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign urges all homeowners, landlords, and tenants to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when adjusting clocks ahead an hour to daylight saving time this Sunday, March 14, 2021.

The main reason smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors fail to work is due to missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most people are sleeping. Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can give you and your family the extra seconds needed to get out of your home or apartment building safely.

Follow these tips to help keep you and your family safe:

Check your alarms - When needed, replace old batteries. After installing new batteries, make sure the alarms are working by activating the test button. The Saint John Fire Department recommends that you test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month.

Place your alarms appropriately - Properly functioning smoke alarms should be placed in every sleeping room and/or in the hallway directly adjacent to those rooms. Smoke alarms should be located on each level of your home. Depending on how you heat your home (fuel oil, gas, or wood), carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home.

Move to a fresh air location - If the carbon monoxide detector sounds, immediately move outdoors or next to an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for and safe, then call for help. Stay in your safe location until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter your home or apartment building.

Plan and practice your escape plan - Children can be scared and confused when a fire starts, increasing their risk of injury or death. Practicing an escape plan with your children will help them recognize the sound of the smoke alarm and remember how to get out of the house or apartment. Create at least two escape routes from every room and practice the escape routes with the entire family. For emergencies, call 911 when safe to do so.

Install fire extinguishers - Keep a fire extinguisher close to your kitchen.

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Here to help – For inquiries related to municipal services, contact the City of Saint John Customer Service Centre at (506) 658-4455, email or visit us in person on the Ground Floor of City Hall, 15 Market Square, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.