CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — This time of year is one of the best times to check your smoke detectors. You can’t predict when a fire will happen, and every minute counts when one does.

“Smoke detectors are vitally important. I can’t tell you how many people’s lives have been saved by them,” John Hocking, a battalion chief with Champaign Fire, said.

As your head hits the pillow ahead of daylight savings, your physical clocks shouldn’t be the only things you’re checking and changing.

Firefighters want you to take an extra few minutes to think about fire safety in your home too.

Hocking knows it’s something people can easily forget about.

He said they can help prevent fires from growing, and help save a life. If you have something burning in your kitchen and hear a beeping sound right away, you can stop a problem in its tracks.

Nowadays, there are new detectors with batteries designed to last 10 years.

There’s a new state law requiring those in homes. But, that doesn’t mean you should stop checking them, even if the detector says 10 years.

“There should be a test button on there. Make sure it actually alarms,” Hocking said. “We just assume, but it’s always good to check it. You never know if there’s something wrong with that detector.”

He said it’s also a good time to think about fire safety in your home. That includes creating an escape plan from your house, especially knowing how you may get out from a second or third floor.

Hocking said you can also put a foldable ladder next to your windows on those higher levels. He also suggests checking the lint in your dryer vents where it’s often forgotten.