“We hope everyone is rested and also hope they changed their smoke alarm batteries Saturday before retiring for the evening,” said Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun.
As residents arose this morning, they experienced an earlier sunrise which ultimately brings along an earlier sunset as Daylight Savings Time reverts to Eastern Standard Time.
The official time change occurred at 2 a.m.
“Our main concern is that everyone should be aware of potential fire dangers as weather begins to turn cooler,” said Bradley County Fire Chief Troy Maney.
“Remember the three-foot rule. Keep furnishings or any other combustible items at least three-feet away from indoor heating sources,” he added.
Haun said, “If you didn’t change those smoke alarm batteries Saturday, then do so now. It could save your life.”
It is also a good time to make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are tested as well.
Earlier this year, Cleveland Fire Department and Bradley County Fire Rescue were notified that actions taken by BCFR firefighters, when they went around to homes installing smoke alarms, were attributed to saving lives. CFD firefighters responded to a call where a man was woken by his new alarm. The man was evacuated from his home and the fire was quickly extinguished.
“A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by almost half. Additionally, the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association recommends replacing your smoke alarms every 10 years,” Haun said.
Newer detectors are more user friendly. All it takes is mounting the plate to the wall and turning the alarm into position to activate. The battery is activated and should operate for 10 years depending on the model provided. But, test the alarms each season the time changes, the fire chiefs stress.
The most commonly cited cause of nonworking smoke alarms is dead or missing batteries.
“A working smoke alarm is ‘on-duty’ all the time, protecting you and your family while you sleep. Replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths,” Haun said.
“Residents should install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on each level of a home, including the basement, and smoke detectors should be placed outside and inside sleeping areas. A working smoke alarm can give your family the extra seconds you need to get out of a home fire safely,” he said.
In addition, both fire chiefs recommend 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, according to Maney.
Placement of smoke alarms is a key element in effectiveness.
Smoke alarms should be mounted outside each sleeping area, generally in a common hallway. If the home has more than one level, alarms should be placed on each level, including basement areas. Additional smoke alarms should be placed in bedrooms if you sleep with the doors closed, according to both of the fire chiefs.
Either fire department can be reached by calling 728-7311 and following the correct voice prompts.