Come Sunday when you set your clock’s an hour forward for daylight savings time, the Toms River Fire Department wants you to take the time walking around the house and make sure your smoke detectors and CO alarms are working as well.

Bob Yaiser from the Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau Public Education Officer says that in addition to installing fresh batteries in your smoke detector and fire alarm, take the time on Sunday March 11th to clean out your home of any unneeded clutter. All of these precautions could prove life saving in the event of a house fire.

“Early warning is the key ingredient” says Yaiser “The most important  component of surviving a fire is being aware that something is taking place. Smoke detectors along with residential and a well rehearsed escape plan is paramount in survival.”

Yaiser adds that on average smoke detectors have a ten year lifespan while a carbon monoxide detector has a five to seven year life, depending on the manufacturer.

“The date is right on the back of all these detectors.” Says Yaiser.

However he warns if you’re not sure, the best bet might be to get a new unit.

Using the opportunity to de-clutter your home of any build up from the winter not only will keep your house clean, Yaiser says the practice could prove life saving as well in case of a fire.
”That makes a difference of a small fire turning into a rapid inferno if you have too many small items in a house that are no longer being used.”

Yaiser says not only could it add kindling to a fire, but it could also get in the way if you’re trying to evacuate the home.