As the time change approaches this weekend, the Modesto Regional Fire Authority wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives – changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.
Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. An average of three children per day die in home fires and 80 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.
Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Modesto, the Modesto Regional Fire Authority would like to encourage everybody to adopt a simple lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks back to standard time each fall, this year on November 6.
The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.
In addition, with the extra hour you save from the time change, take a minute to test smoke alarms 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.