As the time change approaches this weekend, the Modesto Regional Fire Authority reminds residents to make another change that could save their lives – changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.
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.
Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead. Almost one-quarter of smoke alarm failures are due to dead batteries.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Modesto, the Modesto Regional Fire Authority would like to encourage everyone to adopt a simple lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks at least one time per year. The next time change is Sunday, March 11.
The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 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, each time change should be a time that residents test smoke alarms by pushing the test button, planning “two ways out” and practicing escape routes with the entire family.