Spring Ahead — and get alarmed

Budget help needed

March 8 marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and serves as a good reminder for Oregonians to test their smoke alarms. The Office of State Fire Marshal is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before automatically changing the batteries.

Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant, said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. Residents are encouraged to test their alarms before changing the battery.

Oregon law requires ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery. Because of this technology, the national slogan “Change your clock, Change your battery” may not apply to Oregon residents who have these ionization-only smoke alarms.

Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery.

“Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire,” adds Walker. “Also, be sure to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older.”

To test your alarm properly:

Push the test button to be sure the battery is working; when replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct battery to use; always retest alarms after installing new batteries; replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery; inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or older.

(Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.)

Finally, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.

Budget help needed

This is budget crunch time — as in people are needed to serve on local budget committees.

The deadline for elected special district positions is March 19, but the budget jobs are appointed, and seasonal — April through June. If you’ve ever wanted a foot-in-the-door means of doing public service, contact Columbia Gorge Community College (details on page A1) and City of Hood River cityofhoodriver.com, about applying for the budget jobs.

The city is set to fill two positions on its Landmark Review Board, which meets Wednesday at 3;30 p.m. at City Hall and features an overview of historic buildings and the differences between remodeling, renovating, rehabilitating and restoring, by historic preservationist Sally Donovan, one of the community’s keenest experts on the subject.

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