Serving our community
since 1917
Montecito Fire Protection District
Fire Danger - Extreme

Change your clocks, change your batteries

By Joyce Reed
Mar 09, 2016 at 02:00 PM

Daylight saving time begins on March 13th at 2:00 a.m. This means it’s time to spring forward and move our clocks an hour ahead. This is also a great time to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared for emergencies. 

When you change your clocks, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and push the test button to make sure the detectors are working.  It’s also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors. 

“Installing new batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths,” said Fire Chief, Chip Hickman. “Having working detectors can give our residents the extra seconds necessary to get out safely.” 

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2015 report “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires,” in  2009-2013, fires in homes with no smoke detectors caused an average of 940 deaths per year.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The death rate per 100 reported fires was more than twice as high in homes absent of smoke detectors or with non-functioning smoke detectors.
  • More than one-third of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties with no smoke detectors, while one-quarter were caused by fires in which a smoke detector was present but did not operate.
  • In reported home fires in which smoke detectors were present but did not operate, almost half (46 percent) of the smoke detectors had missing or disconnected batteries and one-quarter (24 percent) had dead batteries.
  • Many homes do not have the protection required in recent editions of NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which requires interconnected smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.

NFPA recommends:

  • Installing smoke detectors inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke detectors so that when one sounds they all sound.
  • Using both photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors or combination ionization and photoelectric detectors, also known as dual sensor detectors. An ionization smoke detector is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke detector is generally more responsive to smoldering fires.
  • Replacing all smoke detectors every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Testing all smoke detectors at least once a month by using the test button.

For more information regarding fire prevention and preparedness, go to our website at www.montecitofire.com.

Posted in Press Releases.
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