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Change time; check batteries

If you could do something in 30 seconds that could save your life, why wouldn’t you do it? That’s how long it takes to replace the battery in your smoke alarm.

As part of the national campaign “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Battery,” Rural/Metro Fire Department is reminding homeowners to take that important step when Daylight Saving Time ends Oct. 29.

“Changing smoke alarm batteries once a year is one of the easiest ways to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries,” said Larry Wilder, Rural/Metro Fire Department public education officer. “This is particularly important for those most at risk of dying in a home fire, such as children and seniors.”

Although 95 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, 20 percent do not work due to worn or missing batteries. Most fire-related deaths happen in homes without working smoke alarms. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping. “A working smoke alarm can often provide the critical extra seconds people need to get out safely,” said Wilder. That’s why the International Association of Fire Chiefs sponsors the annual campaign.

In addition to changing smoke alarm batteries, Rural/Metro reminds residents that smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years and recommends testing smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button. Residents should also change the batteries in their flashlights regularly and plan two escape routes from their homes in the event of a fire.


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