As the fall time change approaches, (Sunday Morning November 04, 2012 at 02:00 am) The Perry Volunteer Fire Department would also like to remind residents to make another change, a change that could save their lives. That change would be the batteries in their smoke detectors.
An average of three children a day dies in home fires. One half of all children killed in fires in the United States are under the age of 5 – (Those least able to make their way to safety without help) and 82 percent of these deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide.
The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn-out or missing batteries. Changing smoke alarm batteries, at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire.
The Perry Volunteer Fire Department also recommends that you replace your entire smoke alarm every ten years. No matter how clean you keep your home dust, dirt and smoke particles travel about in the air inside your home. These tiny particles build up inside your smoke alarm and after several years can in some cases cause the alarm to malfunction or not work.
The Perry Volunteer Fire Department has joined forces with other fire departments and fire protection agencies throughout the nation for the 25th year of the “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Battery” campaign. Our goal through this program is to save lives and prevent needless injuries by urging all residents to adopt the simple lifesaving habit of changing their smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks every spring and fall.
A couple of new batteries twice a year are a cheap investment to save a life. “Working smoke alarms provide an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape,” it is particularly important for those most at risk of dying in a home fire, such as children and seniors.” Remember, Fire and burns are the third leading cause of accidental death for young children.
I would also recommend that you use the “extra” hour saved from this falls time change to work on your escape plans. Remember, you should always have “two ways out” and practice those escape routes with the entire family at least twice a year. What better time than when you re-set your clocks and change you smoke alarm batteries.
If you would like additional information on smoke detectors or how to make a home escape plan, contact the Perry Volunteer Fire Department at 515-465-4285.