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updated: 3/8/2014 10:14 AM

Fire marshal: Change clocks, change batteries

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois state fire marshal is urging residents to change smoke alarm batteries Saturday as Daylight Saving Time begins.

Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says each home should have a smoke alarm within 15 feet of every bedroom and at least one on every floor.

Officials suggest changing batteries this time of year, and again in the fall when clocks are changed back to standard time.

Fire authorities reported 2,050 structure fires in Illinois last year. Smoke alarms alerted occupants in more than 350 of those fires.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 60 percent of all fire deaths reported from 2007 to 2011 happened in homes where there was no smoke alarm or they were inoperable.

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