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State fire marshal urges people to use the time change this weekend to change smoke alarm batteries and create a plan of action

Firefighter putting out a fire
A firefighter works to put out a fire

Missouri’s fire marshal hopes people will change their smoke alarm batteries when they turn their clocks back an hour this weekend. But he hopes they’ll also take other steps to keep themselves and their families safe in case of a home fire.

Tim Bean says smoke alarms should be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years.

He said escape routes should be clear of debris and windows should open easily. Families should have a designated outdoor meeting space if their house should catch on fire.

Don’t overload electrical outlets, and don’t use extension cords for more than one appliance. According to Bean, you should plug space heaters into a wall outlet only, and turn them off when you leave a room.