ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — As Minnesotans turn their clocks back one hour this weekend, the state fire marshal is reminding citizens to also change their smoke alarm batteries.

State Fire Marshal Bruce West says people die every year in homes where smoke alarms aren’t working properly, or aren’t there at all. Dead or missing batteries are the most common reasons that alarms fail.

West says batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms need to be changed at least once a year. In addition, smoke alarms must be tested monthly, and alarms should be replaced after 10 years.

West also recommends that Minnesotans dust or vacuum alarms as the batteries are being changed. He says smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, and inside and outside sleeping areas.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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