It's that time of year when we move our clocks ahead an hour and gain a little bit of extra sunlight in our day. In case you've forgotten, Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday, March 10th at 2:00 am.

If there's one thing you do this weekend, please make a point to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that they’re functioning and replace the batteries if needed. I know we've all watched This Is Us and that we are aware, more now than ever, how important replacing batteries is, but you might want to go an extra step. Grab your vacuum and run it over the detectors to keep them free of dust and other gunk so that they work properly.

In my house, we have battery operated smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that talk to each other, so if one goes off, they all start going off and not only do they beep, but they speak, telling us to evacuate. I thought that we had a pretty complex smoke and carbon monoxide detection system in my house, but in April of this year, New York State will roll out a new campaign in an attempt to keep people even safer.

As of April 1, 2019, all battery operated smoke alarms sold in New York State will come with batteries that have a 10-year life and you won't be able to remove the batteries from the smoke alarm.

Sure it might seem like an inconvenience to not be able to take the batteries out of your smoke alarm, especially when it goes off for something like overcooking food on the store, but when you stop and think about all of the tragedies we've seen in this area alone of people, even entire families, dying in house fires because they didn't have working smoke alarms, it becomes less of an inconvenience, doesn't it? The hope is that with these new smoke detectors with non-removable batteries, people won't forget to change them out, and won't be able to borrow the batteries for other gadgets. This should lead to fewer malfunctions and hopefully more lives saved.

By the way, if you're a renter, under New York State law, your landlord is responsible for making sure that you have adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If they haven't provided these for you, you might want to send them a copy of the rules as issued by the New York State Department of State.

[via Johnson City Fire DepartmentNew York State Assembly]