SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Daylight savings time ends this weekend. On November 7 Californians will get an extra hour as the clocks fall back.
Santa Barbara emergency service workers encourage people to test their smoke detectors during daylight savings time. They suggest testing the smoke detectors every six months to make sure the batteries work. And daylight savings time starting and ending is a great reminder to check the batteries in smoke detectors.
Liliana Encinas is the public outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara City Fire Department. She said, “They can save your life. And if you don’t check those alarms, I mean it’s a matter of life or death.”
“We need to understand what the different sounds are," she added about the importance of checking them periodically. "And if we’re hearing that chirp it’s time for us to change the batteries, right. And this is the perfect reminder to go our whole safety checklist and make sure we’re ready for the new season.”
It’s also a good time to review and practice home escape plans. Fire responders said escape plans should have multiple ways to exit a home and a clear safe meeting point outside.
“People do what they practice not what they learn," said Encinas. "So the more you practice the more you’re going to be able to act in a situation rather than react.”
Aaron Lynn is one of Santa Barbara City's fire inspector. He said smoke detectors should be a decent distance from where you cook so they don't go off incorrectly.
“If you do have the smoke detector that becomes the nuisance while you’re cooking it’s not the time to remove it or take the batteries out," said Lynn. "It’s probably the time to leave the vent hood on the stove, crack some windows, get some ventilation in the room.”
Lynn added that since the weather is starting to get cooler to check home heater vents before using the heater. Also make sure they're not blocked and could start a fire.
For more information about how to prepare to keep your family safe in case of fire visit the Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Services website.