When you turn your clocks back at 2am on November 6, check your smoke alarms. Here is a simple question. If someone told you there was an easy way to cut the number of fire related deaths in half, would you be interested? Every year, approximately 2,600 Americans die in home fires. Over half of these deaths (52 percent) occur between the hours of 10pm and 7am, when residents are typically sleeping. Smoke and toxic gases from a home fire are as deadly as heat and flames.
Never ignore an alarm. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious. The majority of fire victims die or are injured from exposure to smoke and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, not actual burns from the fire.
A working smoke alarm in your home can mean the difference between life and death. Smoke alarms with batteries that are dead, disconnected, or missing cannot alert you to the dangers of smoke and fire.
Many smoke alarms are installed with long life batteries. So, when you turn your clocks back at 2am on November 6, check your smoke alarms, and if necessary change the battery. Working smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape and increasing your chances of surviving a fire. Additional safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom
- Replace smoke alarms 10 years old or older
- Hard-wired alarms should have battery back-ups
- Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses
- Make a home emergency escape plan and practice it together with your family
Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by detecting fires early and alerting residents, allowing crucial time to escape. Remember, the risk of dying from a fire in a home without working smoke alarms is twice as high as in a home that has working smoke alarms.
When you change your clock, check your smoke alarms to be sure the smoke alarms in your home are working properly. For more smoke alarm and other fire safety information, contact your local fire department or visit us on our website at www.ci.bend.or.us/fire department.