Remember to change your clocks -- and your smoke alarm batteries

It's time to turn back your clocks by an hour tonight — and state fire officials recommend changing some potentially life-saving batteries in your home.

The State Fire Marshal's office recommends replacing batteries this weekend in all home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Depending on the age of the devices, it could even be time to buy new ones.

Fire and Life Safety Educator Amanda Swenson said smoke alarms that are 10 years old have expired and should be replaced.

Newer, interconnected alarm systems can provide a greater margin of safety.

"It might tell you that there's smoke in your basement and alarm you up on your second floor, and give you a little bit more warning," Swenson said. "So we really recommend those interconnected alarms because it does give you the most time to escape from a residential fire."

Last year there were 44 fire deaths in Minnesota homes. In nine of those cases there were no operating smoke alarms present. Fatal home fires number 46 so far this year.

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