As the time change approaches on Sunday, November 1, the Effingham Fire Department wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives – changing the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
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. 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: 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 recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Effingham, the Effingham Fire Department has joined forces with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery campaign. The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when changing clocks back to standard time each fall, this year on November 1.
The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10:00pm and 6:00am when most families are sleeping. 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 Effingham Fire Department recommends residents use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors 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.