My Turn: Fall is here: Have you checked your chimney and smoke detectors? |

My Turn: Fall is here: Have you checked your chimney and smoke detectors?

We have had some cool nights and the leaves are starting to change colors. Things are cooling down but everyone still needs to work on their defensible space. Make sure the pine needles and leaves are cleaned off of your roof. There have been several chimney fires in the past few weeks. A chimney fire can easily turn into a roof fire when burning embers from a chimney drop onto the pine needles on your roof or your neighbor’s roof. When was the last time someone inspected your chimney to make sure it hasn’t been damaged by excessive heat, wind, or snow? Does your chimney need cleaning? The last Sunday of October daylight-saving time will end and it will be time to set your clocks back one hour. As you go through your house resetting your clocks be sure to put new batteries in your smoke detectors. Count your smoke detectors now and add batteries to your shopping list so you will have them when you need them. Vacuum the dust out of your detectors while you have your ladder out. If you have a smoke detector that is difficult to reach and is battery powered or has a battery back up, install a lithium 9V smoke alarm battery in it. These special batteries cost more but are rated to last 10 years when used in a smoke detector. If you know the installation date of your smoke detector, write it on the inside cover with a felt tip marker while you are servicing them. The manufacturer’s date is not in a contrasting color and can be difficult to read. If your smoke detectors are more than 10 years old you should replace them.If you have questions on where or how to install your smoke detectors, or questions about their operation or maintenance, call us at 582-7853. We will be more than happy to answer your questions or assist you in making sure you have functional smoke detectors in your home. If you know of an individual who do not have a working smoke detector in his or her home in Truckee, have that person call us and we will supply a battery powered smoke detector. If that person needs assistance in installing it we can help. More fire safety information can be found on our website at Gene Welch is the public safety and information officer for the Truckee Fire Protection District. Contact him at

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