It's almost "time" to change your smoke detector batteries - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

It's almost "time" to change your smoke detector batteries

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Five people are dead after a house fire in Elkins.

Many neighbors say it's tragic and investigators say the only smoke detector in the home didn't have batteries in it.

"It is a really small investment to save someone's life," Beckley Lt. Nathan Shrewsberry said.

Having a smoke detector that works and has fresh batteries in it really can save a life, and no better time to change them out than on Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time is Sunday, November 3rd. A day when we get an extra hour of sleep and "fall back" one hour. It's also a day when it's recommended to make sure you have fresh batteries in your smoke alarm. Here's why.

"They allow early detection so people can get out of their house. It increases the survivability of fires," said Shrewsberry.

Shrewsberry told 59News Beckley firemen can be anywhere within city limits in 5 minutes or less. He recommends getting out of your house and calling 911 first, instead of trying to put out the fire yourself.

He gave us these tips to prevent the fires he most often sees in the fall and winter seasons.

"You should definitely clean your chimney's, check your circuits to make sure they're not overloaded with your heating appliances, be very careful when you use electric heaters and general maintenance and housekeeping all the way around," the Lieutenant told us.

For the elderly who aren't fit to change their own detectors, all they need to do is call their local fire department.

"The fire department came up with a smoke detector program for senior and disabled citizens where we provide the smoke detectors and battery changes twice a year," said Shrewsberry.

Anyone can call the Beckley Fire Department and a fireman will come to your home to check your smoke detectors and give you safety tips on fire prevention and evacuation plans for free.