Too many homes have smoke detectors that don't work

You'll hear the advice a lot during the next few days: when you turn back your clocks this weekend, put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors.

"Most homes have smoke alarms, but unfortunately, not all of them have good batteries that are going their job," said John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety at Underwriters Labs.

When those alarms don't work - because of a dead battery or a missing battery - lives can be lost.

"Between 2005 and 2009, almost two-thirds of the people who died in residential fires did not have working smoke alarms in their home," said Bud Backer, deputy chief with Eastside Fire & Rescue.

Something else to consider: the age of your smoke detectors. UL reminds us they do wear out.

"In some smoke alarms the sensitivity decreases because the sensor is getting old and therefore a new smoke alarm every 8 to 10 years is important," said Drengenberg.

Look for a date on the label on the back of the unit.

By the way, many new alarms come with a battery that lasts 10 years and never needs to be replaced.

More Info: UL Safety Info on Smoke Alarms