Published: Mar 07, 2014 10:27 AM EST
Updated: Mar 07, 2014 12:52 PM EST

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday at 2:00 a.m. Remember to set the time on your clocks to one hour forward.

Charlotte County Fire/EMS reminds residents it is also time to test and change the batteries in smoke detectors. It is important to not only change the batteries in your smoke detector at a minimum of once a year, (unless your detector is equipped with 10-year lithium batteries), but to preform monthly checks to insure your smoke detector is functioning properly.

Even if your smoke detectors are hardwired, replace the batteries in case of a power outage.

Regular maintenance to your smoke detector is important; remove dust and dirt that could cause your smoke detector to malfunction. By doing so, you could save a life. Statistics show working smoke detectors reduce the chance of dying in a fire by 77 percent.

If you do not have smoke detectors, or if your smoke detector is over 8-10 years old, (smoke detectors have a maximum life span is 8-10 years), now is the time to install or replace smoke detectors on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area. When installing smoke detectors one should mount the smoke detector high on the wall but at least 6 inch down from the ceiling, if installing on the ceiling, the detectors should be installed at least 6 inch away from the wall.

Charlotte County Fire/EMS Smoke Detector assistance programs for Charlotte County residents provide residents the help they may need if they do not have smoke detectors or if they are unable to check their smoke detectors. Help is just a phone call away; residents can telephone Fire/EMS Headquarters at (941) 833-5600, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., to request an appointment for firefighters to help check smoke detectors. A home fire safety check is also included upon request with this service.