Daylight saving time: When you change your clocks, do this, too

For most of the country, daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10.

While you’re setting your clocks ahead an hour this weekend, be sure to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, too. According to safety experts, a good rule of thumb is to check the batteries twice a year, so the twice annual time change is a perfect way to remember.

This year so far, 16 Georgians have died in residential fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

“Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries,” according to the official website of the State Department of Health. The department urges residents to replace the batteries at least once a year.

In a survey of more than 1,000 people, ServiceMaster Restore found only 57% of Americans follow best practices.

Most conventional smoke detectors have a cover that either hinges or lifts off. A counterclockwise twist will usually get the cover off.

Once you remove the cover, locate the battery, which should be clipped in. When you replace the battery, be sure it’s properly oriented before closing the cover.

You can also test if you installed the battery correctly by pressing the test button. You should hear a chirp if you hit the button.

If you’re unsure about your smoke alarm placement or need assistance, call your local fire department.