On Sunday, March 11th setting your clock forward will save you from being late, but changing the batteries in your smoke alarms will save your life!
According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. In many cases due to dead or missing batteries. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire. That is why the Lee’s Summit Fire Department wants to remind everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarm at least once a year.
While smoke alarms do have low battery alarms, they usually sound at an inconvenient time and in most cases people are not prepared to change the batteries when it does, so unfortunately the battery is often disconnected or removed, leaving you and your family unprotected. It’s important to change to batteries regularly on your terms and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work.
It’s also a good time to check the age of your smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Even if the alarm still sounds when the test button is pushed, the sensor may not detect smoke. This is also true for smoke alarms wired into your homes electrical system
Smoke alarms should be located on every level of your home; in hallways to bedrooms; in every bedroom, and the basement. When installing smoke alarms, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement.
In addition to having working smoke alarms, have an escape plan. Make sure that every member of the family has at least two ways out of every room and that locks, windows and other security devices can be opened by anyone from the inside without needing a key, tool or special knowledge. Designate a meeting place outside a safe distance from the house, but where firefighters can find you when they arrive. And once you are out...STAY OUT! Be sure to practice your plan by having regular fire drills.
For more information on fire safety continue to follow the links on the Fire Department web site, or call the Lee’s Summit Fire Department at (816) 969-1300.