The San Rafael Fire Department wants the public to change batteries when they reset clocks for daylight saving time, which begins Sunday at 2 a.m.
A home fire death occurs somewhere in the U.S. every three hours, and more than half of those happen in homes without working smoke detectors or with detectors lacking working batteries, fire officials said.
Some of the department's tips for properly using smoke alarms include installing dual sensor alarms that respond to fires with flames as well as smoky fires that have fumes without flames, and testing detectors on a monthly basis.
The department is also reminding residents of a new state law that requires homes to have carbon monoxide detectors.
The battery reminder is part of the department's educational message for fire prevention.