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Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries

By Joyce Reed
Oct 27, 2015 at 05:02 PM

It’s time to turn the clock back and gain an hour of sleep this weekend when Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. Sunday.  This is also a great time to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared for emergencies.

When you turn the clock back, 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 Chip Hickman, Fire Chief. “Having working detectors can give our residents the extra seconds necessary to get out safely.”

 According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2014 report “Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires,” three out of five home fire deaths in 2007-2011 resulted from fires in properties without working smoke detectors.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The death rate was twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke detectors as it was in home fires with working 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 (47 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 detector at least once a month by using the test button.


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