CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Come Sunday morning, it's time to turn the clocks back for Daylight Saving Time. Local emergency management members are reminding people to change clocks and change batteries to keep their families safe this winter.
"We're going to start right here and work all the way around," said a Red Cross volunteer.
Nine months ago, the Sun Valley Apartment complex suffered a major loss when a fire destroyed 12 units, leaving families with nothing. Local emergency officials want to stop that from happening again.
“The majority of the time the fires are accidental. Someone left something cooking on the stove, someone left a candle going or something slight like electrical outlet not covered appropriately," said Red Cross Regional CEO, Angela Broome.
So the American Red Cross, along with Piedmont Natural Gas and the fire department teamed up for their annual, Change Clocks, Change Batteries campaign, which reminds people as they change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time to also change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
"We found situations where people have removed the battery to utilize that battery in another device, and its one of the worst things they could ever do," said Mark Basnight with the Charlotte Fire Department.
The three agencies went door to door at the apartment complex handing out information in English and Spanish, as well as a new battery for their smoke detector. Red Cross officials say as winter approaches, this is the time to be aware and take caution.
"So many fires occur during the holidays because of candles, and lights on the trees, and different decorations, so it's important we start thinking about that right now," said Broome.
Fire officials also remind people that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a shelf life of ten years, so if yours is older than that, it's time for a new one.