Fire safety measures are urged
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 12, 2012 | 1046 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daylight Saving Time will end Nov. 4 and officials are getting a head start in reminding residents to change smoke alarm batteries when clocks “fall back.”

“Cleveland Fire Department wants to remind you to make a change that could save your life and the lives of your loved ones: change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” said CFD Chief Steve Haun.

“Every year, preventable fires kill people nationwide. Tennessee has one of the highest fire death rates in the nation. Nonworking smoke alarms offer a false sense of protection to residents and place them at risk for death or serious injury from unwanted fires in the home,” Haun said.

The most commonly cited cause of nonworking smoke alarms is dead or missing batteries.

International Association of Fire Chiefs officials indicated 38 percent of fatal fire injuries occur in homes without working smoke alarms, while 24 percent occur in homes in which at least one smoke alarm is present but fails to operate, frequently due to dead or missing batteries, according to Haun.

“Changing smoke alarm batteries at least twice per year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries,” Haun said.

“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,” he added.

To save lives and prevent needless injuries, the Cleveland Fire Department urges people to “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Most home fire fatalities occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping.

“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.

Haun also said if a smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced with a new one.

“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,” Haun said.

In addition, the Cleveland 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.

CFD firefighters will also aid residents in assessing alarm needs and provides alarms at no charge to qualifying residents.

For additional information, contact CFD at 476-6713.