Daylight saving time will come to an end on November 3. Homeowners and tenants will be setting the clocks back in their homes. Changing the clocks is a reminder for us to check our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety, and the National Fire Protection Association offer the following tips on fire prevention and on how to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during the time change:
If your detectors have removable batteries, make sure they are replaced with 10-year sealed lithium batteries, in accordance with a newly passed state law. In the past, faulty batteries have largely contributed to smoke alarms not functioning properly. The new law eliminates the need for annual replacements as these batteries are designed to last 10 years. The alarms will enhance fire detection in homes and reduce fire-related deaths.
One- and two-family dwellings, motel rooms, rooming houses and homes built before 1977 are required to comply with the new law. The Department of Community Affairs urges local fire officials and property owners/landlords to work together to ensure compliance. An owner of a one- or two-family home must demonstrate compliance prior to a sale or change of occupancy. Landlords who fail to comply with these regulations will be cited by the municipality and sent violation notices.
Contact your local fire department and the Department of Community Affairs, Division of Fire Safety at 609-633-6132 for assistance if your landlord is not complying with this law, and/or if the battery malfunctions. Community Affairs and your local fire department are there to ensure that your landlord complies with these regulations.
If you are a homeowner and need assistance replacing your smoke alarm, the American Red Cross offers a free in-home program for smoke alarm installation. For details, see Take Action To Prevent Home Fires or call 877-733-2767, ext. 5.
This information last reviewed: Oct 7, 2019