The Wichita Fire Department is reminding residents to change their smoke alarm batteries at the same time they change their clocks for daylight saving time Sunday.
Wichita Fire Captain Stuart Bevis says a functioning smoke alarm is one of the most vital pieces of equipment in your home.
"Smoke alarms are a very vital tool in our home safety and to alert us in case of an emergency," he says. "So along with testing our smoke alarms every month these two times a year when we change our clocks, we want to change batteries on any smoke alarms that have batteries."
Bevis says Wichita experienced eight fire deaths in 2011 and four in 2012, and in several cases the home or building did not have a functioning fire alarm.
"One in particular in 2011 was tragic with a 16-year-old that we lost and there was no functioning smoke alarm. A battery had been removed and so there was no early warning to the presence of the fire," he says.
Residents are reminded to install smoke alarms on every level of their homes, and to plan regular fire drills so everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.