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This weekend is time to fall back and check smoke and fire detectors

This weekend, before turning clocks back one hour for Daylight Saving Time, Lincoln Countians should change the battery in their smoke alarm or test it to make sure their smoke alarm is in working order, said Brookhaven Fire Chief Tony Weeks.

State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney, who is also commissioner of insurance for the state, said of the 42 fire deaths investigated by his office this year, more than 75 percent of them either had no smoke alarm or a non-working smoke alarm present.

“That is just unacceptable,” Chaney said. “I cannot say it any plainer, working smoke alarms save lives.  If you do not have a smoke alarm in your home, get one. If you have one, make sure it is in working order. A working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half.”

Weeks said no fire deaths have been reported in Lincoln County for 2017 and he wants to keep it that way.

“Check your batteries in smoke detectors and make sure they’re working,” he said.

Daylight Saving Time is also a good time to check carbon monoxide detectors and household heating units. Check chimneys to see if they need to be cleaned, he said.

Weeks said individuals should be cautious when using portable heaters.

“You’ve got to be real careful with space heaters,” he said. “Don’t put them close to curtains or anything flammable.”

Heaters should never be left on unattended and electrical cords shouldn’t be used if they are frayed in any way, he said.

“Common sense goes a long way,” he said.

Weeks said live Christmas trees area also a concern for firefighters.

“If you’re going to use a real Christmas tree, keep it hydrated. Keep it watered,” he said. “All it takes is a spark and they’re gone.”

 Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., when clocks are set back one hour.