- Associated Press - Saturday, March 7, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal urges people to change their smoke-detector batteries when they move their clocks forward this weekend.

Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis (meth-KYE’-toss) says residents should use fresh batteries twice a year - on the Saturdays preceding the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Matkaitis says the simple switch could save a life. It’s easy to forget about ensuring detectors are working before it’s too late.

He says it’s also a good time to help children recognize the sound of a smoke detector and practice an emergency exit.

Authorities reported 3,600 structure fires in Illinois last year. Smoke alarms alerted occupants in more than 2,200 of those blazes - about 62 percent.

Illinois law requires smoke alarms within 15 feet of every sleeping area.

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