Changing clocks and batteries

The long-standing “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries” campaign (which was not created by NFPA, contrary to popular belief) encourages the public to change their smoke alarm batteries when turning back clocks in the fall and ahead in the spring.

On March 12 states throughout the US turned their clocks forward* for Daylight Savings Time. Many people will use this opportunity to change their home’s smoke alarm batteries as well.

Because working smoke alarms are a critical element of home fire safety, NFPA supports any and all efforts to reinforce the importance of working batteries. However, today’s smoke alarms are not all designed the same, making battery messaging more nuanced.

Following is information to help make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries, accounting for the multiple types of smoke alarms on the market and their varying battery requirements:

  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.
Social media cards

Download these social media cards to use on your social media channels. Feel free to use this sample social media copy along with them: Changing your clocks is also a good time to test your smoke alarms. Be sure to change replaceable batteries if needed. For more info, visit

Change your clocks. Check your batteries social media card
 Change your clocks. Check your batteries social media card - Twitter

Daylight Saving Time social media card

Daylight Savings Time social media card



*Not all states participate in turning clocks forward/backward.