PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services Department encourages you to check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms now that the time changed on March 10.

While it has been traditional to pair daylight savings time with the reminder to check your smoke alarms, if your smoke alarms are hard-wired, or you have a newer model with a 10-year lithium battery, you may not need to change the batteries. Simply press the test button on each unit, and make sure the alarm rings loud and clear.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacing your alarms every ten years. The date of manufacture is usually listed on the back of the alarm. If it’s time for you to get new units, now is the perfect time to do so. Make sure to record the date you changed your alarms. It will be easier to know next time that it is time to do it again.

According to the NFPA, three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent). The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarms can alert you to a fire in your home, giving you the precious time you need to escape safely,” says Paso Robles Fire Captain/Paramedic John Prickett.

Here are some useful tips and suggestions for using smoke alarms in ways that give the most protection in case of a fire. Following are some of these tips.

  • Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • People who are hard of hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.

For information about the Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services Department and helpful tips on staying safe, please visit