Change Smoke Alarm Batteries, Turn Clocks Back Hour Sunday
As the time change approaches on Sunday morning, Oct. 29, the Southern Pines Fire Department is reminding residents to make another change that could save their lives -- changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.
Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. An average of three children per day die in home fires and 80 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms, according to the Fire Department.
Nonworking smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide.
The most commonly cited cause of nonworking smoke alarms are worn 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. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommend replacing your smoke alarms every 10 years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Southern Pines, the Southern Pines Fire Department has joined forces with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the 19th year of the "Change Your Clock Change Your Battery" campaign.
The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit -- changing smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks back to standard time each fall, this year on Oct. 29.
"The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping," Fire Chief Hampton Williams says. "Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely."
In addition, the Life Safety Division of the Southern Pines Fire Department recommends residents to use the "extra" hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms by pushing the test button, planning "two ways out" and practicing escape routes with the entire family. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.
With this in mind the Southern Pines Fire Department invites the public to an open house Oct. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m.
There will be live demonstrations, fire prevention and life-safety tips throughout the afternoon.
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