PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We changed the clocks this past weekend and firefighters are reminding everyone to also change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

As we head into the winter, home fires become more common.

READ MORE: $2.2M Settlement Reached In Pennsylvania State Police Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

On average, seven people died in U.S. home fires per day. There’s a house fire every 85 seconds in this country.

A smoke detector can save your life.

“Smoke detectors are the first line of defense,” says Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones. “There are times that we go into a building and the smoke alarm is melted but it’s still alarming.”

That was the case with a recent fire in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood. Everyone made it out alive and the smoke detector was still going off even though it was black and melting on the wall.

A man and four children died after a fire at a home in Elkins, W. Va., last week. Two people were injured. The smoke detector in the house did not have batteries.

“Time is of the essence and if you are delayed in finding out there is a fire in your house, then that’s less time you have to escape. A detector is the early warning device,” says Jones.

In 75 percent of home fire deaths, there were no working smoke detectors.

Having a working smoke alarm can double your chance of survival.

READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Health Department Reports 6,638 New Cases 66 Additional Deaths

“They should go on every floor of the house and one in every bedroom,” says Jones.

Batteries in smoke alarms should be changed twice a year — and smoke detectors themselves should be replaced every 10 years.

New smoke alarms designed by First Alert are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

The city of Pittsburgh supplies smoke alarms — for free– to any city resident who wants one. So far this year the city has given out 270 smoke alarms.

You can also get them installed by the city and you can get batteries for your alarms if you need them, as well.

Call 311 for more information on the free smoke alarms.

You can also visit: pittsburghpa.gov/fire

For more information on new smoke alarms by First Alert go to: http://www.firstalert.com

MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 430 New Cases, 1 Additional Death

More Consumer News
More Featured Reports
More Reports by Susan Koeppen