Tick, Tock, Test
It’s the time of year that many of us notice a bit more daylight left as we leave work, or the sun making an appearance that little bit earlier each day, which can only mean that we’re drawing towards another changing of the clocks. This time it’s the turn of the spring equinox, with Sunday 27th March seeing us all “losing” an hour as the clocks jump forward to herald the changing of the seasons.
Once you’ve changed that last clock (often on the oven display), take advantage of the twice-yearly reminder to check the batteries in your smoke alarms.
Tick, Tock, Test
This is exactly the premise of the Tick Tock campaign: to make regular checks of smoke detectors part of the habit for changing the clocks every six months.
Smoke detectors are on the frontline of fire safety in all homes, alerting residents to the presence of a fire in enough time to either put it out or evacuate the building. Having a smoke detector installed that has a flat battery is as effective as having none at all, so ensuring that the battery is continuously operational is vitally important.
All smoke detectors will alert you to low power, with many emitting a regular beep to encourage you to change the batteries. However, faults can also occur that are not battery related, necessitating testing at frequent intervals.
Taking great care, especially if stood on a chair or stepladder, press the test button that should be located on the front panel of the smoke detector. This should cause the alarm to sound, indicating that it is in full working order. If this is not the case, try replacing the battery and trying again.
Still no luck? It’s time to contact an electrician or fire safety company to diagnose the problem. Alternatively, if you are renting, get in touch with your landlord, who has a legal obligation to install and maintain adequate fire safety equipment within your property.
Even if all appears to be working fine, it doesn’t hurt to take further precautions. Cleaning out the casing of the smoke detector will prevent blockages, which will simultaneously to prevent dust and dirt from stopping the sensory components from working. An old toothbrush is useful here, but do try to avoid getting any of the electrical elements wet.
The 2016 British spring equinox, the date on which night and day are the same length, this year falls on Sunday 27th March at 1am, when the time officially changes to 2am. This year, take note of the Tick Tock campaign and make sure you test your smoke alarms when you change your clocks.