LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Every fall, E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety works to remind people of the simple, life-saving habit of changing and testing the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when setting the clocks back one hour on Sunday November 5th.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71% of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries, making it important to take this time each year to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Michigan remains a leading state for home fire deaths. Most of these fatalities have occurred in homes without working alarms. Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms double the chance of a family surviving a home fire and/or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.
Use this checklist to find out if you are taking the right steps to protect your family:
1. Count Your Smoke Alarms – Be sure there is at least one smoke alarm less than 10 years old installed on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
2. Change Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries – Fire experts nationwide encourage people to change their smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year. An easy way to remember to do so is to change the battery when you move the clock back to standard time Sunday November 5th.
3. Check Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm – After inserting a fresh battery in each smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, push the safety test button to make sure the alarms are in proper-working condition. Conduct this test weekly. Never disconnect your smoke alarm battery! Remember that a “chirping” alarm is a signal it needs a fresh battery.
4. Clear Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms’ sensitivity by cleaning them each month of dust and cobwebs.
5. Replace Your Smoke Alarms – The United States Fire Administration recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and having a combination of both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to keep you alert to all types of home fires.
6. Change Your Flashlight Batteries – Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire.
7. Get the Whole Family Involved – Once smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries installed, you should make sure family members, children in particular, know what the alarms sound like and what to do should they go off… Get Out and Stay Out and then call 911 from a safe meeting place once outside!
Sometimes saving a life can be that simple – Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® and make a positive change in our community!