CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – March 5, 2014 – The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is encouraging citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks to Daylight Savings Time this Sunday, March 9th.


Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home.  They should also be installed inside and outside of sleeping areas for maximum protection.  Test your smoke alarms monthly.  Replace batteries at least once a year or if the smoke alarm begins to “chirp” which indicates a low battery.  Some new smoke alarms allow lithium power cell batteries to be installed – these batteries may last up to ten years.  Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years.


A working smoke alarm can decrease a family’s risk of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent.  Last year in Cedar Rapids, smoke alarms alerted occupants in 33.3 percent of all of the residential fires in Cedar Rapids.  Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of the time, there was not a working smoke alarm.   The most common cause of smoke alarm failure was missing or worn batteries.


Cedar Rapids firefighters will be partnering with American Red Cross volunteers this Thursday through Saturday to assist 158 households with their smoke alarms who have signed up through the annual “Battery Up” program.  The program is designed for senior citizens and physically-challenged citizens who need assistance installing and maintaining smoke alarms.


Batteries from household smoke alarms may be recycled at the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency locations at 2250 A Street SW and 1954 County Home Road, Marion.