With winter coming on, Missoula Rural Fire Captain Ron Lubke is asking residents to use the seasonal time change as a reminder to check all the smoke detectors in their homes.

“The best thing about smoke alarms is that they give you a very early detection of a fire,” said Lubke. “Modern smoke alarms have multiple ways that they can detect smoke, but not just smoke, some can even sense if there’s a flame nearby. They give you early warning so you have a chance to escape especially at times when you’re not necessarily going to be aware. If you’re not in a room where a fire starts or everybody’s asleep at night. They’re probably the best and most inexpensive way to protect your family from fire.”

Lubke said the best smoke detectors are the ones that can be interconnected.

“Hardwired is nice because they’re usually interconnected, which is an excellent thing to have because when a fire starts somewhere else in the house all the alarms go off, so if you were to have a fire in the basement or another part of the house, you’d be protected. Some battery powered smoke detectors can be interconnected wirelessly, so they will still all go off together.”

Lubke said smoke detectors are inexpensive and easy to install, and for those with limited or fixed incomes, Missoula Rural Fire has a small number of smoke detectors available free of charge.

So, when you set your clocks back an hour on Sunday, take a moment to check your smoke detectors.