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On the upside, we all gain an extra hour’s shuteye this weekend. On the downside, the days grow shorter.

Eastern Standard Time goes into effect at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

As more of our timekeeping devices update automatically, it may be easier to forget the other very important ritual that accompanies the time change.

The batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be changed twice a year and a good way to remember to do this is to change the batteries in these alarms when the time change takes effect.

If your smoke detector is over 10 years old, it should be replaced. Battery-operated smoke detectors start are available for less than $10.
Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased for under $20 and, like smoke detectors are available at hardware stores and other retailers.

If you rent, the law requires the landlord to provide a working smoke detector in your home.

Remember: functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save lives.

Follow these 10 tips on smoke alarms from the U.S. Fire Administration:

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a “Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm.”

Place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of every level of your home and both inside and outside bedrooms. Children and older people can sleep though the loud sound of a smoke alarm. Make sure your escape plan includes someone that can help children and others wake up immediately to escape from the home.

If you keep your bedroom doors closed, place a smoke alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom.

Check smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button.

Never take smoke alarm batteries out to put into other items like games or remote controls.

Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear the alarm sound.

If there is a fire, leave the home right away by crawling low under the smoke and never go back inside.

If smoke from cooking makes the alarm sound, press the “hush” button, if your alarm has one. You can also turn on the kitchen fan, open a window or wave a towel near the alarm until it stops making the sound. Never take the battery out of the alarm.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.