Christie Administration Reminds Everyone to Check Smoke Alarms
and Replace Batteries During Change to Daylight Savings Time

This Year’s Reminder Coincides with National “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight™” Initiative

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today joined the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety in reminding residents to “Change Your Clocks-Change Your Batteries.” Residents are urged to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and replace the batteries when they change their clocks to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 10, 2013. This year’s reminder coincides with “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight™,” a national fire prevention initiative.

“Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are among the best safety investments people can make to protect loved ones from harm. But without working batteries, they lose their effectiveness,” said Commissioner Constable. “Taking a few extra minutes to make sure these alarms and detectors are operating properly can prove to be the difference between lives saved and lives lost.”

Having properly installed, working and maintained smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. The alarms can be either hardwired into a home’s electrical current or battery powered. People should install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, at minimum, on each level of a home, including the basement. Fire safety experts also recommend the alarms be placed outside and inside sleeping areas.

This year’s reminder corresponds with “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight™,” a new national fire prevention program launched by the U.S. Fire Administration that is designed to unite the fire service and other stakeholders in a collaborative effort to reduce home fire injuries, deaths and property loss.

Historically, home fire incidents have been viewed as “unfortunate accidents.” By partnering with the “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight™” program, the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety is encouraging individuals to take personal responsibility and proactive steps to prevent fire from occurring.

We rely on the fire service to fight fires once they occur. However, the prevention of fires is up to all of us,” said Acting State Fire Marshal William Kramer, Jr. “Changing the batteries in our smoke alarms and CO detectors at the time change is a perfect example of how taking individual action can make us all safer, even our neighbors.”

“The Division of Fire Safety also encourages residents to run through a fire prevention checklist. For example, is there a curtain too close to the burner on the stove? Do you know that a pot lid can smother a small cooking top fire? Does your family have and practice an escape plan?” said Kramer. “Having this type of a checklist can really drive home the message that fire indeed is everyone’s fight, and that it can be prevented.”

For households that cannot afford smoke alarms, the Division of Fire Safety is again participating in the Operation 7: Save a Life campaign run by WABC-TV Channel 7 in New York City and Kidde. The annual campaign distributes free smoke alarms to senior citizens, low-income residents, and households with children in the television station’s viewing area. The Division has distributed approximately 115,800 free smoke alarms to New Jersey households in North and Central Jersey since joining the annual campaign. A similar program is led by WPVI-TV Channel 6 – the ABC-affiliated station in Philadelphia – for the South Jersey region.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing public education and firefighter training programs.

For more information, log on to on the DCA website.